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November 2010

The Sooner, the Better

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2010 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2010

Arch Neurol. 2010;67(11):1306. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.276

Evidence-based rationale for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke has accumulated during the last 15 years. Intravenous administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) remains the most beneficial proven intervention for emergency management of acute ischemic stroke and the only therapy for acute ischemic stroke approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Data from clinical trials confirm that stroke thrombolysis is a safe and effective therapy in the general stroke population and that the benefits of treatment outweigh the risks in patients treated with intravenous rt-PA within 4.5 hours of symptom onset.1-4 Understanding how baseline clinical, biological, and imaging variables affect outcome is critical for the subsequent treatment of patients with acute ischemic stroke and future acute stroke clinical trials design.