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Stroke Research and Treatment
Volume 2010, Article ID 108253, 3 pages
Case Report

Noninvasive Ventilatory Correction as an Adjunct to an Experimental Systemic Reperfusion Therapy in Acute Ischemic Stroke

1Comprehensive Stroke Center, Department of Neurology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, RWUH M226, 619 19th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35249-3280, USA
2Dresden University Stroke Center, University of Technology Dresden, 01307 Dresden, Germany

Received 27 July 2010; Revised 2 October 2010; Accepted 11 October 2010

Academic Editor: Chelsea S. Kidwell

Copyright © 2010 Kristian Barlinn et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition in patients with acute ischemic stroke and associated with early clinical deterioration and poor functional outcome. However, noninvasive ventilatory correction is hardly considered as a complementary treatment option during the treatment phase of acute ischemic stroke. Summary of Case. A 55-year-old woman with an acute middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion received intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and enrolled into a thrombolytic research study. During tPA infusion, she became drowsy, developed apnea episodes, desaturated and neurologically deteriorated without recanalization, re-occlusion or intracerebral hemorrhage. Urgent noninvasive ventilatory correction with biphasic positive airway pressure (BiPAP) reversed neurological fluctuation. Her MCA completely recanalized 24 hours later. Conclusions. Noninvasive ventilatory correction should be considered more aggressively as a complementary treatment option in selected acute stroke patients. Early initiation of BiPAP can stabilize cerebral hemodynamics and may unmask the true potential of other therapies.