Individualized stroke treatment available for patients, though underutilized

Mar 26, 2009

Nearly 90 percent of the 700,000 strokes that affect U.S. patients each year are caused by a blockage of blood vessels supplying the brain, known as ischemic stroke. A new study published in Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions, the official journal of The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), provides solid evidence of the effectiveness of catheter-based therapy (CBT) to remove blood clots in stroke patients. CBTs, which include stents and thrombectomy, may be used for ischemic stroke patients who arrive too late or have contraindications for intravenous thrombolysis, a drug treatment frequently used to break down blood clots.

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and the most common cause of adult disability. To be effective, intravenous thrombolysis must be administered less than three hours after the onset of symptoms. Unfortunately, and despite efforts to educate the public on the warning signs of stroke and the need to seek quickly, most arrive at the emergency room too late. It is estimated that less than 5 percent of patients are eligible for this treatment which has prompted interest in alternative therapies, like CBT, that restore blood flow.

CBT applies the same treatment model for identifying a blocked artery causing a heart attack to stroke therapy. It allows the physician to tailor the treatment based on the location and characteristics of the blockage. "We believe the individualized treatment that can be offered with this approach optimizes patient outcomes and minimizes risk," says Dr. Christopher J. White, co-author of the study.

Researchers from the Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute in New Orleans examined 26 patients who underwent CBT and were not eligible for intravenous thrombolysis. Patients were tested for neurologic disability at 90 days, improvement in the NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS). The results showed that 89 percent (23/26) of the patients were successfully treated with CBT. At follow-up, half the patients had slight or no neurologic disability and 18 significantly improved their NIHSS score.

The study notes that CBT has been utilized in other trials up to eight hours after stroke onset, which is a significant advantage over intravenous thrombolysis. Although treating acute stroke is not without risks, with limited options for patients ineligible for intravenous thrombolysis, the authors encourage aggressive treatment to minimize damage to the brain and long-term disability.

Source: Wiley (news : web)

Explore further: Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study opens way for later treatment of acute stroke

Sep 15, 2008

The time span in which treatment should be given for acute ischaemic stroke – i.e. stroke caused by a clot or other obstruction to the blood supply – can be lengthened. This according to a study from the Swedish medical ...

Not a moment to lose in therapy for acute stroke

Sep 24, 2008

In an editorial response to a report in the September 25 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine on the efficacy of intravenous thrombolysis treatment in the hours after acute ischemic stroke, Patrick Lyden, M.D., profes ...

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

16 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.