• With an increasing understanding of the pathophysiology of human brain ischemia, it appears that time is of critical essence in the diagnosis and management of the acute stroke victim. A review of the acute ischemic stroke patient in an intensive care setting is described. Recent knowledge of clinical stroke assessment is summarized, with further emphasis on in-hospital strokes. Acute stroke units are described with a focus on the general clinical approach to patients with acute cerebral ischemia: investigations, recent treatment advances, and rehabilitation. Unless patients with acute brain ischemia are given the opportunity for aggressive management, care, and enrollment into promising therapeutic protocols, ideally within an acute stroke unit setting, the tremendous burden of stroke will not be lifted.
(Arch Intern Med 1989;149:90-98)