Acute ischemic stroke is a severe and life-threatening disease, particularly when caused by a large-vessel occlusion. The only available 2 treatment options are intravenous alteplase and endovascular therapy (mechanical clot removal), both of which are highly time-dependent. Thus, rapid patient transfer, diagnosis, and treatment are crucial, and time-consuming imaging methods and overly selective treatment selection criteria should be avoided. A combined endovascular therapy approach using stent-retrievers and aspiration is the most effective way to achieve fast first-pass complete reperfusion and should thus be used. To diagnose and treat patients as fast as possible, the organization of existing systems of care, and particularly pre-hospital transfer systems, have to be changed. Several different transport models are currently in use because the optimal patient transfer paradigm is highly dependent on local geography and hospital efficiency.
Keywords: CT angiography; acute ischemic stroke; endovascular therapy; guidelines; large-vessel occlusion; systems of care.
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