Mobile Stroke Units: Current Evidence and Impact

Praveen Hariharan, Muhammad Bilal Tariq, James C. Grotta, Alexandra L. Czap

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose of Review: Several approaches have been developed to optimize prehospital systems for acute stroke given poor access and significant delays to timely treatment. Specially equipped ambulances that directly initiate treatment, known as Mobile Stroke Units (MSUs), have rapidly proliferated across the world. This review provides a comprehensive summary on the efficacy of MSUs in acute stroke, its various applications beyond thrombolysis, as well as the establishment, optimal setting and cost-effectiveness of incorporating an MSU into healthcare systems. Recent Findings: MSUs speed stroke treatment into the first “golden hour” when better outcomes from thrombolysis are achieved. While evidence for the positive impact of MSUs on outcomes was previously unavailable, two recent landmark controlled trials, B_PROUD and BEST-MSU, show that MSUs result in significantly lesser disability compared to conventional ambulance care. Summary of Review: Emerging literature prove the significant impact of MSUs. Adaptability however remains limited by significant upfront financial investment, challenges with reimbursements and pending evidence on their cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Neurology and Neuroscience Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute ischemic stroke
  • Hemorrhagic stroke
  • Mobile stroke unit
  • Prehospital


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