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Free Radical Damage In Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury: An Obstacle In Acute Ischemic Stroke After Revascularization Therapy

Ming-Shuo Sun, Hang Jin, Xin Sun, Shuo Huang, Fu-Liang Zhang, Zhen-Ni Guo, Yi Yang

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Acute ischemic stroke is a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Thrombolysis with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator and endovascular thrombectomy are the main revascularization therapies for acute ischemic stroke. However, ischemia-reperfusion injury after revascularization therapy can result in worsening outcomes. Among all possible pathological mechanisms of ischemia-reperfusion injury, free radical damage (mainly oxidative/nitrosative stress injury) has been found to play a key role in the process. Free radicals lead to protein dysfunction, DNA damage, and lipid peroxidation, resulting in cell death. Additionally, free radical damage has a strong connection with inducing hemorrhagic transformation and cerebral edema, which are the major complications of revascularization therapy, and mainly influencing neurological outcomes due to the disruption of the blood-brain barrier. In order to get a better clinical prognosis, more and more studies focus on the pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical neuroprotective therapies against free radical damage. This review discusses the pathological mechanisms of free radicals in ischemia-reperfusion injury and adjunctive neuroprotective therapies combined with revascularization therapy against free radical damage.