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St. Joseph's Hospital is the First in Florida to Offer Non-invasive Test to Predict Stroke Risk
Date:6/20/2013

nted St. Joseph's Hospital to have this software for the Tampa community," says Berlet.  "We now have such a rare commodity – and the community needs to know about the importance and availability of NOVA."

The software is designed for patients currently diagnosed as being at-risk for stroke who are taking medication to prevent stroke.  NOVA takes preventative care one step forward by being able to tell if a patient is improving with their current medical therapy, or if their prescriptions need to be adjusted.

"Doctors will be able to tailor treatment and better detect what therapy may or may not be working," Dr. Berlet says.  "This is the best tool we have to minimize a patient's chance of a debilitating stroke."

"You can essentially preview your disease.  We can see just how bad the blockage is and its exact location in the vasculature," he says.  "Without this baseline imaging, the only way we would find out that therapy wasn't working was when the patient would have a stroke."

NOVA provides a patient a three dimensional view of the vascular system of the neck and head that is 10 times more sensitive than transcranial ultrasound [the current standard of care] and gives patients a numerical value that is extraordinarily important to managing their risk for stroke.

The scan measures blood flow in the brain in milliliters per minute, which is a quantitative numerical value that can be compared to normal values.  This determines the severity of the patient's stenosis, or blockage.  The scan takes about 10 minutes and a report is instantly generated and printed, showing the patient's stroke risk. 

There is no direct alternative to the NOVA MRA system, but a cerebral angiogram can give the degree of narrowing. Unfortunately it is an invasive and expensive test that does not give the quantitative blood flow. It can only provide the
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SOURCE BayCare Health System
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