The use of thrombolytic agents (plasminogen activators) in the early moments of ischemic stroke to achieve recanalization and potential neurologic improvement has been actively studied over the past 10 years. In the same period, endovascular techniques for cerebral revascularization have evolved significantly. Recent phase III studies, following angiography-based phase I and II studies of plasminogen activators in stroke, have described evidence of clinical benefit and contributors to morbidity (i.e., symptomatic hemorrhage) and mortality that limit the applicability of this approach. The limited formalized experience with percutaneous transluminal balloon angioplasty and stent placement in the carotid artery and cerebral circulation has given rise to concerns about the safety and appropriateness of the procedures in this territory. However, several prospective series support the feasibility of well-designed clinical trials.