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NIH report on intracranial stent points out need for upcoming large-scale clinical trial
Date:2/14/2008

LOS ANGELES (Feb. 13, 2008) A preliminary study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that a stent designed to open clogged arteries in the brain was successfully deployed in nearly all cases and significantly reduced arterial blockage in the short term. But data on the long-term benefit of the stent, compared to medical treatment alone, were inconclusive, prompting the upcoming launch of a large-scale randomized trial that is expected to provide definitive results.

The NIH Wingspan Registry collected statistics on 129 patients who had an intracranial artery narrowed by at least 70 percent and were experiencing recurrent strokes or transient ischemic attacks (TIAs or mini-strokes) despite being on anti-clotting medication. Treatment included use of the Wingspan intracranial stent developed by Boston Scientific. Seven centers in the United States participated in the trial, and results are published online in the journal Neurology.

Treatment options for stroke patients with severe blockages are extremely limited. As opposed to the situation in blocked heart arteries where options include angioplasty, stenting and surgical bypass, there is no surgical option for these blockages in the brain. This stent may be a major advance for patients with high-grade stenosis (arterial narrowing) who have a stroke or TIA. Previously they could just take medication and expect to have a high recurrent stroke rate, said neurosurgeon Michael J. Alexander, M.D., one of the articles authors and director of the Cedars-Sinai Neurovascular Center. Before coming to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in 2007, Alexander was founder and director of the Neurovascular Center at Duke University, where he was one of the Wingspan study leaders.

The Wingspan trial followed another NIH-funded study comparing two blood-thinning medications commonly used to treat narrowing of intracranial arteries. The Warfarin-Aspirin Symptomatic Intracranial Disease Study (WASID) f
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Contact: Sandy Van
sandy@prpacific.com
800-880-2397
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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