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Interv Neurol. 2012 May;1(1):3-15. doi: 10.1159/000338389.

Beyond the time window of intravenous thrombolysis: standing by or by stenting?

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Department of Neurology, Jinling Hospital, Nanjing University School of Medicine, Nanjing, China.


Intravenous administration of tissue plasminogen activator within 4.5 h of symptom onset is presently the 'golden rule' for treating acute ischemic stroke. However, many patients miss the time window and others reject this treatment due to a long list of contraindications. Mechanical embolectomy has recently progressed as a potential alternative for treating patients beyond the time window for IV thrombolysis. In this paper, recent progress in mechanical embolectomy, angioplasty, and stenting in acute stroke is reviewed. Despite worries concerning the long-term clinical outcomes and increased risk of intracranial hemorrhage, favorable clinical outcomes may be achieved after mechanical embolectomy in carefully selected patients even 4.5 h after stroke onset. Potential steps should be prepared and attempted in these patients whose opportunity for recovery will elapse in a flash.


Angioplasty; Mechanical embolectomy; Stenting

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