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Stroke is a major public health issue. Many are treatable in the acute stage, provided patients are admitted soon enough. The overall incidence of stroke in Western countries is approximately 2400 per year per million inhabitants, and 80% are due to cerebral ischaemia. The prevalence is approximately 12,000 per million inhabitants. Stroke is associated with increased long-term mortality, handicap, cognitive and behavioural impairments, recurrence, and an increased risk of other types of vascular events. There is strong evidence that stroke patients should be treated in dedicated stroke units; each time 24 patients are treated in a stroke unit, instead of a conventional ward, one death and one dependence are prevented. This effect does not depend on age, severity, and the stroke subtype. For this reason, stroke unit care is the cornerstone of the treatment of stroke, aiming at the detection and management of life-threatening emergencies, stabilization of most physiological parameters, and prevention of early complications. In cerebral ischaemia, besides this general management, specific therapies include intravenous recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, given as soon as possible and before 4.5hours, mechanical thrombectomy on top of rt-PA or alone in case of contra-indication to rt-PA, in patients with proximal large-vessel occlusion, aspirin 300mg, immediately or after 24hours in case of thrombolysis, and, in a few patients, decompressive surgery.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.