Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Research offers new treatment for severe stroke patients

Specialist radiologists interpret imaging exams

patient story

After Barbara Collard suffered a massive stroke, she benefited from intraarterial treatment.

Read her story

A recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated that severe stroke patients whose clots are removed within six hours of symptoms have better prognoses than patients who receive standard treatment. The study of 500 patients was conducted in the Netherlands and includes a Mass General researcher among the authors.

According to the study known as MR CLEAN, 32.6% of patients who received intraarterial treatment to remove large clots functioned independently 90 days after their stoke compared to 19.1% who received intravenous tPA, a clot-dissolving drug. When a large clot is removed from a blood vessel soon after it forms, the surrounding brain tissue may suffer less damage.

Intraarterial treatment for stroke is a minimally invasive procedure that uses advanced imaging technology to insert a retrieval device into an artery, snag the clot and restore blood flow to the brain. Ninety percent of the study population who received this treatment also received tPA.

Intraarterial treatment for stroke is performed as part of the Neuroendovascular Program at the Institute for Heart, Vascular & Stroke Care at Mass General using the latest technology by a multidisciplinary team that includes emergency medicine, interventional radiologists and neurosurgeons.

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