Table 1.

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion criteria
• Age ≥18 years
• Randomized within 24 hours of stroke
• Focal neurological deficit lasting at ≥60 minutes
• CT (or MRI) compatible with clinical diagnosis of acute ischemic stroke
• Stroke clinically assessed to be in the middle cerebral artery territory
• NIH stroke scale ≥5 with at least 2 points from sections 5 and 6 (motor)
• Ambulatory and functionally independent before stroke
1. Rankin scale score ≤2 (slight disability) before stroke
Exclusion criteria
30. CT/MRI evidence of brain tumor, brain stem or cerebellar infarction, subarachnoid hemorrhage, or primary intracerebral hemorrhage
31. Severe coexisting systemic disease that limits life expectancy
32. History of ventricular dysrhythmias, acute myocardial infarction, or any severe cardiovascular condition that would interfere with participation
• Previous disorder which would impair interpretation of neurological scales
• Neurological signs and symptoms that improve during baseline screening
• Preexisting medical conditions that may interfere with participation
33. Patients who require surgery within 24 hours
34. Patients with recent or planned thrombolytic (rtPA) use