What is tpa, (alteplase) and why is it important in stroke?

TPA (alteplase) Tpa (alteplase) or tissue plasminogen activator is a subtance that is used to break up clots that form in the body. It has been used to stop heart attacks, strokes or clots that form in the arms or legs. It has even been used to dissolve clots in the lungs with some success.
It dissolves clots. Tpa (alteplase) stands for tissue plasminogen activator. As its name implies, it activates plasminogen which is essentially a blood clot buster. If a stroke results from a clot occluding blood flow to the brain tissue, as is the case for an ischemic stroke (embolic or thrombotic in nature) tpa (alteplase) can be helpful in dissolving the clot and restoring blood flow.