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Treatment for Acute Stroke - St. Cloud Hospital

Ambulance stroke emergency

Stroke can strike anyone, at any time. The best chance for survival and to minimize disability is to recognize the symptoms and call 911. 

Treatments for acute stroke have made significant strides over the past several years.

Current treatments include medication, endovascular procedures and surgery.



Alteplase is the only FDA-approved drug for the treatment of acute ischemic strokes. It is considered the first line of treatment for acute ischemic stroke but it must be administered within a 3-hour window from the onset of symptoms to work best. Alteplase is administered into the vein, usually in the arm, then the medication travels through the blood stream until it reaches the blockage.The medication then works to dissolve the clot.

Alteplase is often referred to as the "clot buster" for its ability to dissolve blockages in blood vessels and restore blood flow in the brain.

If patients are not candidates for Alteplase or do not arrive within three hours may still benefit from specialized procedures to remove the blood clots in the brain, clear its delicate blood vessels of blockages and repair other cerebrovascular abnormalities.

Endovascular Procedures

Endovascular treatments are a collection of very effective, minimally invasive procedures that treat and aid in the diagnosis of cerebrovascular conditions.

Intra-arterial Alteplase
The intra-arterial (IA) method of delivering Alteplase to the clot can expand the window of treatment opportunity up to six hour. In this minimally invasive treatment for stroke, the interventional physician threads a catheter into the patient's femoral artery in the groin and threads it up to the site of the blockage in the brain. The physician then delivers the medication directly to the site of the clot. When then works to dissolve it.

Among the innovative endovascular procedures our specialists perform are:

  • Clot retrieval devices
  • Carotid angioplasty for carotid stenosis
  • Embolization and coiling of aneurysms
  • Balloon angioplasty for vasospasm
  • IA medications for vasospasms

Endovascular SuiteSt. Cloud Hospital's endovascular operating room is the first of its kind in Central Minnesota and is used to perform complex heart and vascular procedures. Its advanced imaging technology can scan patient's vascular anatomy and reconstruct it into 3D images.

Learn more about our stroke/vascular neurology services.


St. Cloud Hospital also provides neurosurgical services for stroke patients. Qualified neurosurgeons provide the following services for stroke patients:

  • Aneurysm clipping
  • Carotid endarterectomy
  • Cerebrovascular malformations
  • Hypervascular tumors
  • Intracerebral hemorrhagic strokes

Related Locations

Hear from our patient

“It is so important to be treated as soon as possible if having a stroke,” said Kathryn, 50, who had awakened with a blinding headache a few days before her medical emergency in September 2012. Kathryn, from Annandale, made a nearly full recovery. “I don’t think it could’ve been any faster. The care at St. Cloud Hospital was excellent and having Dr. Suri’s expertise is such a blessing,” Kathryn said.

Watch a video of Dr. Suri, interventional neurologist, explaining the capabilities of our specialized endovascular operating suite.