Imaging-based treatment selection for intravenous and intra-arterial stroke therapies: a comprehensive review

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2011 Jul;9(7):857-76. doi: 10.1586/erc.11.56.


Reperfusion therapy is the only approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke. The current approach to patient selection is primarily based on the time from stroke symptom onset. However, this algorithm sharply restricts the eligible patient population, and neglects large variations in collateral circulation that ultimately determine the therapeutic time window in individual patients. Time alone is unlikely to remain the dominant parameter. Alternative approaches to patient selection involve advanced neuroimaging methods including MRI diffusion-weighted imaging, magnetic resonance and computed tomography perfusion imaging and noninvasive angiography that provide potentially valuable information regarding the state of the brain parenchyma and the neurovasculature. These techniques have now been used extensively, and there is emerging evidence on how specific imaging data may result in improved clinical outcomes. This article will review the major studies that have investigated the role of imaging in patient selection for both intravenous and intra-arterial therapies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / therapy
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Patient Selection
  • Reperfusion / methods*
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / therapy*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods
  • Time Factors