Cerebral and myocardial infarctions share common aspects of pathobiochemistry. The central problem is the oxygen supply of the infarcted region. To maintain this supply, H.E.L.P.-apheresis (Heparin-mediated Extracorporeal LDL/Fibrinogen Precipitation) has already proven beneficial in the prevention and therapy of myocardial infarction. Since H.E.L.P.-apheresis can lower significantly plasma viscosity and erythrocyte aggregation without reducing the oxygen transport capacity, patients with cerebral infarction (stroke) may also benefit from our experiences in myocardial ischemia. The system is designed to remove selectively plasma fibrinogen, LDL-cholesterol and lipoprotein(a) from blood circulation, simultaneously. The removal of the plasma compounds is achieved by extracorporeal precipitation with heparin at low pH. Excess heparin is completely removed by an adsorber before the plasma is given back to the patient. H.E.L.P.-apheresis has proved to be safe in patients with coronary heart disease and allows a controlled reduction of thrombogenic plasma compounds. It is therefore hoped to be effective also in patients with acute ischemic stroke.