Ischemic Stroke Treatment

The treatment for ischemic stroke is clot removal. Doctors can accomplish this with medication and mechanical treatments:

Medication Treatment with Alteplase IV r-tPA

Considered the gold standard, tissue plasminogen activator – r-tPA (otherwise known as alteplase) is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat ischemic stroke, which is caused when a vessel supplying blood to the brain is blocked.

Doctors administer Alteplase IV r-tPA through an IV in the arm, dissolving the clot and improving blood flow to the part of the brain being deprived. Many people don’t arrive at the hospital in time to receive the medication, which can save lives and reduce long-term effects of stroke. So it’s important to identify stroke and seek treatment immediately.

Mechanical Treatment to Remove the Clot

Mechanical device used to remove clotAn endovascular procedure or a mechanical thrombectomy is a strongly recommended option to remove a clot in eligible patients with a large vessel occlusion or LVO.

In this procedure, doctors use a wire-cage device called a stent retriever. They thread a catheter through an artery in the groin up to the blocked artery in the brain. The stent opens and grabs the clot. Special suction tubes may also remove the clot.

The procedure:

  • Should be done within six hours of onset of acute stroke symptoms.
  • Can benefit patients under certain conditions if done even within 24 hours of onset.
  • Should include Alteplase IV r-tPA treatment in eligible patients