2 Indications and current treatments
2.1 Acute ischaemic stroke is usually caused by arterial thrombosis or embolism. This results in loss of neurological function leading to symptoms such as numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body, and often problems with speech and swallowing.
2.2 Patients suspected of having an acute ischaemic stroke should have rapid assessment and early intervention with specialist care according to stroke and transient ischaemic attack in over 16s: diagnosis and initial management (NICE guideline CG68). Recanalisation strategies, such as thrombolysis, attempt to re‑establish blood flow so that cells starved of oxygen can be rescued before they are irreversibly damaged. Effective stroke care also includes specialised supportive care and rehabilitation.
2.3 Mechanical clot retrieval for treating acute ischaemic stroke aims to remove the obstructing blood clot or other material from arteries within the brain, restoring blood flow to the brain and minimising brain tissue damage.