JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Management of acute ischemic stroke

Michael S Phipps, Carolyn A Cronin
BMJ: British Medical Journal 2020 February 13, 368: l6983
32054610
Stroke is the leading cause of long term disability in developed countries and one of the top causes of mortality worldwide. The past decade has seen substantial advances in the diagnostic and treatment options available to minimize the impact of acute ischemic stroke. The key first step in stroke care is early identification of patients with stroke and triage to centers capable of delivering the appropriate treatment, as fast as possible. Here, we review the data supporting pre-hospital and emergency stroke care, including use of emergency medical services protocols for identification of patients with stroke, intravenous thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke including updates to recommended patient eligibility criteria and treatment time windows, and advanced imaging techniques with automated interpretation to identify patients with large areas of brain at risk but without large completed infarcts who are likely to benefit from endovascular thrombectomy in extended time windows from symptom onset. We also review protocols for management of patient physiologic parameters to minimize infarct volumes and recent updates in secondary prevention recommendations including short term use of dual antiplatelet therapy to prevent recurrent stroke in the high risk period immediately after stroke. Finally, we discuss emerging therapies and questions for future research.

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