Treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) has evolved significantly in the past few years. Endovascular treatment (EVT) is now proved to be efficacious up to 24 hours from onset in properly selected patients. The recently updated 2018 American Heart Association– American Stroke Association guidelines reflect the important role of imaging in triage and patient selection for EVT of AIS. Pretreatment imaging in patients with acute stroke should (a) allow assessment for intracranial hemorrhage and demonstrate (b) the extent of early ischemic changes, (c) the presence of large arterial occlusion, and (d) in some cases potential salvageable tissue before the decision to proceed with EVT. The authors review how multimodality imaging can be used for EVT selection in the context of the recent guidelines. They highlight the importance of having streamlined imaging workflows that are integrated with clinical decision making to maximize treatment efficiency. Knowledge of the various imaging criteria including perfusion imaging used for EVT selection is highlighted. The authors discuss variable imaging paradigms used for selection of patients in the early and late windows (who present before vs after 6 hours from onset of symptoms), as reflected in the latest guidelines and in relation to their level of evidence. Finally, they focus on challenges in the subgroups of patients who were excluded from recent EVT trials and with limited evidence to prove the efficacy of EVT, such as patients with low NIHSS (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale) score, distal occlusion, or large ischemic core.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging