Objectives – Endovascular reperfusion therapy in acute ischaemic stroke comprises a number of pharmacological and mechanical procedures. Mechanical embolectomy offers the promise of efficacious treatment for patients in whom pharmacological thrombolysis is contraindicated or might be ineffective. The purpose of this review is to outline endovascular reperfusion therapy in acute ischaemic stroke with focus on mechanical embolectomy.
Materials & methods – Data on endovascular reperfusion therapy were acquired through searches in MEDLINE 1990–2006 by cross referencing relevant key words.
Results – Mechanical embolectomy works well on large-volume proximal occlusions for which there was previously no effective treatment. Early safety trials are promising, efficacy in terms of recanalisation is substantial, and both safety and efficacy is expected to improve with further advances in technology.
Conclusions – Intravenous thrombolysis with tPA revolutionised acute stroke treatment a decade ago. Endovascular reperfusion therapy now offers the promise of a second revolution, expanding the number of patients eligible and the time window open for specific stroke treatment.