The effectiveness of thrombolytic agents used in local infusion has been demonstrated in the treatment of acute myocardial infarctions by several randomized trials. Thrombolytic therapy seems also to improve the prognosis of certain acute life-threatening brain stem strokes. Two cases of central retinal artery occlusion were treated with intracarotid urokinase injections. Visual acuity was improved in both cases in less than 24 hours, repermeation of the occluded vessels was observed 48 hours after the beginning of treatment. The limits of this kind of therapy are emphasized: there must be no contra-indication to the fibrinolytic agents, a delay shorter than 6 hours after the beginning of symptoms, a lack of arguments in favour of an embolism, and integrity of the carotid bifurcation. Surveillance in an intensive cares unit during the first days is required.