Victims of large strokes could benefit from a catheter-based clot removal surgery known as endovascular thrombectomy, according to new research.
A trial by researchers at the University of Texas that used this method more than doubled success rates for sufferers of the condition regaining their functional independence, while reducing the death rate by 13%.
They now believe the process to remove a blood clot under X-ray image guidance could be used to treat patients with large ischemic cores – dangerous thromboses left on the brain after a stroke caused by cell death – and not just victims with smaller areas of damage.
Ischemia refers to an inadequate blood supply to an organ or part of the body, especially the heart muscles, from which an ischemic stroke happens.
This prevents oxygen from reaching the surrounding brain tissue and results in cell death.
Dr Amrou Sarraj, associate professor of neurology at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School, in Houston, said: “It is unclear now if thrombectomy is safe and efficacious in patients with a large ischemic core stroke.
“Treating physicians face a dilemma on whether to intervene in these patients.
“Our results represent very good preliminary data that thrombectomy may be safe and efficacious in this population.
“It’s time to test those results in a randomised trial.” – NS Medical Devices