DeVries, James T.; White, Christopher J.; Cunningham, Michael C.; Ramee, Steven R.
Early reperfusion therapy for acute stroke, similar to acute myocardial infarction, has the best opportunity to reduce morbidity and mortality. Treatment options include intravenous (IV) thrombolysis therapy and/or catheter-based therapy (CBT). Catheter-based therapies include local intra-arterial thrombolysis, mechanical thrombectomy, and angioplasty techniques. Intravenous thrombolysis is limited to the first three hours after symptom onset, which excludes many patients with disabling stroke deficits. Catheter-based therapy is effective up to seven hours after onset, but availability is limited by the lack of neurointerventionalists available around the clock to provide this care. To increase the number of providers for acute stroke reperfusion therapy, we have formed a multidisciplinary team to take advantage of cardiologists' carotid stent placement experience to provide continuous coverage for emergency reperfusion therapy. We present two cases of acute stroke treated with CBT by interventional cardiologists. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.