Imaging After Thrombolysis and Thrombectomy: Rationale, Modalities and Management Implications

Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2019 Jul 6;19(8):57. doi: 10.1007/s11910-019-0970-7.


Purpose of review: Urgent reperfusion treatment with intravenous thrombolysis or mechanical thrombectomy reduces disability after ischaemic stroke. Imaging plays an important role in identifying patients who benefit, particularly in extended time windows. However, the role of post-treatment neuroimaging is less well established. We review recent advances in neuroimaging after reperfusion treatment and provide a practical guide to the options and management implications.

Recent findings: Post-treatment imaging is critical to identify patients with reperfusion-related haemorrhage and oedema requiring intervention. It also can guide the timing and intensity of antithrombotic medication. The degree of reperfusion on post-thrombectomy angiography and infarct volume and topography using CT or MRI carry important prognostic significance. Perfusion-weighted MRI and permeability analysis may help detect persistent perfusion abnormalities post-treatment and predict haemorrhagic complications. Post-treatment neuroimaging provides clinically relevant information to identify complications, assess prognosis and perform quality assurance after acute ischaemic stroke. Recent advances in neuroimaging represent a potential avenue to explore post-reperfusion pathophysiology and uncover therapeutic targets for secondary ischaemic and haemorrhagic injury.

Keywords: Cerebral oedema; Haemorrhage; Ischaemic stroke; Reperfusion; Thrombectomy; Thrombolysis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Perfusion
  • Reperfusion
  • Stroke
  • Thrombectomy*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome