There is a large unmet need for fast and reliable diagnostics in several diseases. One such disease is stroke, where the efficacy of modern reperfusion therapies is highly time-dependent. Diagnosis of stroke and treatment initiation should be performed as soon as possible, and preferably before arrival at the stroke center. In recent years, several potential blood biomarkers for stroke have been evaluated, but without success. In this review, we will go into detail on the possibility of utilizing extracellular vesicles (EVs) released into the blood as novel biomarkers for stroke diagnostics. EVs are known to reflect the immediate state of the secreting cells and to be able to cross the blood–brain barrier, thus making them attractive as diagnostic biomarkers of brain diseases. Indeed, several studies have reported EV markers that enable differentiation between stroke patients and controls and, to a lesser extent, the ability to correctly classify the different stroke types. Most of the studies rely on the use of sophisticated and time-consuming methods to quantify specific subpopulations of the nanosized EVs. As these methods cannot be easily implemented in a rapid point of care (POC) test, technical developments followed by prospective clinical studies are needed.
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