Clot Removal Therapy Is Effective Within 6 Hours For Stroke Patients, Study Says

First Posted: May 17, 2017 04:20 AM EDT

A new research indicates that clot removal therapy is effective in some patients when achieved within 6 to 24 hours after a stroke. It is also known as endovascular treatment (ET) that removes a stroke-causing blood clot in the brain.

The findings of the research were presented at the European Stroke Organization 2017 in Prague on May 16, 2017. The study was led by Tudor Jovin, M.D., director, UPMC Stroke Institute and professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh, and other colleagues, according to EurekAlert.

Dr. Jovin said their study shows that even if treated outside the time window, patients will have the significantly lessened disability with clot removal. On the other hand, this means that a patient still needs to be rushed to the hospital as soon as possible after a stroke has happened because the mantra "time is the brain" still holds, according to him.

In the study, the scientists found that about 49 percent of the patients involved had received endovascular therapy after the standard deadline was shown to have levels of functioning 90 days after treatment compared to only 13 percent in the control group. They also found no difference in mortality levels in each group, according to Pittsburg-Post-Gazette.

The procedure begins by inserting a microcatheter into the affected blood vessel. Then, they use a stent to expand it and remove the clot. It must be done earlier, and the benefits could happen 6 to 24 hours or even longer after the stroke.

Dr. Jovin said that one can salvage the penumbra and bring back the brain and must inhibit it from dying. He further said that this ends up in a small region of damage rather a bigger region of permanent damage, regardless of the point in time when the stroke happened.

"If the scan shows potential, the procedure should be done," he said.

Meanwhile, the National Institutes of health led also similar study just like this study led by Dr. Jovin. Ralph Sacco, the past president of the American Heart Association, describes the study as impressive. He further said that this will be a game-changing study, and they will await results as well from the NIH study.

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