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Stroke Therapy with Corkscrew Device Most Beneficial, Study Suggests
Date:1/18/2010

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  • 24 patients who had no treatment entered the hospital with an NIHSS average score of 11.1 and left the hospital with an average score of 8.9, a 20 percent improvement. Two patients died. Patients in this group were those who sought treatment more than six hours after onset of stroke, or who were suffering from stroke caused by bleeding in the brain and therefore were not candidates for intervention.

Clot-busting drugs work by breaking up the clot to open up blood flow. In IV tPA, the drugs are infused intravenously through a standard IV. However, only some of the drugs make their way to the clot to break it up. IV tPA doesn’t require a specialist to administer it, and is the most widely available stroke treatment. IA tPA infuses the clot-busting drugs through a catheter (small tube) directly into the artery where the clot is located, meaning most of the drugs can quickly work to break up the clot. IA tPA must be administered by a physician who specializes in this treatment, such as an interventional radiologist. The clot-removing device is advanced on a wire through a catheter directly to the site of the clot. The device works like a corkscrew to hook into the clot and pull it out. This procedure also must be performed by a specialist.

“All of the treatment groups had improvement, but those in the clot-removing device-only group had the most significant improvement,” said Dr. Stambo. “In most of these patients, blood flow in the brain was re-established quicker than in patients who received the other treatments. If possible, people who show signs of suffering from stroke should get to a stroke center that of
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