One hundred twelve patients exhibited a HMCAS, 55 of 268 patients treated with IAT and 57 of 249 patients who underwent IVT. Stroke severity at baseline and patient age were similar in both groups. Mean time to treatment was longer in the IAT group (244+/-63 minutes) than in the IVT group (156+/-21 minutes; P=0.0001). However, favorable outcome was more frequent after IAT (n=29, 53%) than after IVT (n=13, 23%; P=0.001), and mortality was lower after IAT (n=4, 7%) than after IVT (n=13, 23%; P=0.022). After multiple regression analysis IAT was associated with a more favorable outcome than IVT (P=0.003) but similar mortality (P=0.192). In this observational study intraarterial thrombolysis was more beneficial than IVT in the specific group of stroke patients presenting with HMCAS on CT, even though IAT was started later. Our results indicate that a randomized trial comparing both thrombolytic treatments in patients with middle cerebral artery occlusion is warranted.