APR 27, 2016 04:59 AM PDT

A Device to Treat Stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of both short and long-term disability. The two most common types of stroke are hemmorhagic where a vessel in the brain ruptures and causes bleeding and ischemic when a clot blocks a blood vessel and the supply of oxygen to the brain is cut off. Ischemic strokes are far more common and for those, the standard of care has been treatment with clot busting drugs, known as intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV t-PA).
A small device can retrieve a blood clot

Time is crucial in treating every stroke and that’s why it matters where treatment is given. IV t-PA is only effective is given within 4-5 hours of the stroke. Newer technology provides another option that is showing promise in patients who did not get care quickly enough or for whom the drugs to break up the clot were not successful.
In a new study conducted at the University of Calgary in Canada researchers analyzed data on patients treated with both IV t-PA and stent retrievers from the Solitaire With the Intention For Thrombectomy as PRIMary Endovascular Treatment (SWIFT PRIME) Trial. A stent retriever is a small metal device that can be threaded through an artery in the groin all the way to a clot in the brain. Once there it can latch on to the clot, capturing it its tracks and then bring it out through the artery.
The study showed that if a clot can be removed quickly, outcomes for the patients improve dramatically.  Bringing back blood flow to the brain within 2.5 hours of symptom onset was associated with functional independence, or minimal or no disability, in 91 percent of patients. Patients who were treated within 2.5 hours were 10 percent more likely to recover with no functional impairments than treated between 2.5 and 3.5 hours after stroke onset. Every 60-minute delay after 3.5 hours resulted in a 20 percent lower likelihood of functional independence.
The problem is that not all stroke centers are equipped to perform the retrieval of a clot with stent retrievers. The recent study in Canada backs up the recommendation of the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s guidelines published in the New Journal of Medicine in July 2015 which called for endovascular stent retrieval as a “Class 1 Level of Evidence A” recommendation, the strongest possible suggestion for any method of treatment.
Mayank Goyal, M.D., FRCPC, who was the lead author on the study said,
"The earlier that patients with acute ischemic stroke get to a hospital offering the appropriate treatment, the higher the likelihood is of a good outcome. Two-thirds of the patients in our study went directly to the endovascular-capable center and one-third went to a primary stroke center. For those who went to the stroke center, there was a loss of about two hours in overall workflow, which is pretty significant.”
The study is published in the journal Radiology. The video below talks more about stent retrieval for strokes and how they impact timeliness and patient outcomes.

RadiologUniversity of Calgary, Alberta American Stroke Association
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
SEP 20, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
SEP 20, 2019
Why Sleep is Good for Us
Animals spend a lot of their lifetime asleep, and scientists have sought to understand the physiological purpose of all that spent time....
SEP 20, 2019
SEP 20, 2019
Scientists use AI to reveal an unexpected role for "junk" DNA in autism
According to a new study published in Nature Genetics, spontaneous mutations or "junk" DNA that occur between genes may turn out to be key to understanding autism. This study was the first to...
SEP 20, 2019
Drug Discovery & Development
SEP 20, 2019
Anticholinergic Drugs and Dementia?
A link between anticholinergic drug use and cognitive impairment was recently observed from observational studies on randomized clinical trials. Regenstrie...
SEP 20, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
SEP 20, 2019
Anorexia is Caused by Genetics and Gut Bacteria
Although usually considered a purely psychiatric disorder, recent research has uncovered that anorexia nervosa may have other underlying causes. From genet...
SEP 20, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
SEP 20, 2019
Insight Into a Common Mechanism Underlying Some Neurodevelopmental Disorders
Mutations impacting a protein complex called SWI/SNF can cause a variety of problems. Now researchers know more about why....
SEP 20, 2019
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 20, 2019
Scientists Developed Magnetic Nanoparticles that can Remotely Modulate Neural Circuits
Currently, neuroscience researchers rely heavily on invasive procedures to stimulate and study the neural activity of animals. A team of MIT scientists has...
Loading Comments...