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New device to remove stroke-causing blood clots proves better than standard tool
Date:8/26/2012

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a common cause of long-term disability in the United States, but doctors have very few proven treatment methods. Now a new device that mechanically removes stroke-causing clots from the brain is being hailed as a game-changer.

In a recent clinical trial, the SOLITAIRE Flow Restoration Device dramatically outperformed the standard mechanical treatment. Findings from the trial, called SOLITAIRE With the Intention for Thrombectomy (SWIFT), are published online today in the journal The Lancet and will also appear in a later print edition of the journal.

SOLITAIRE, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March, is among an entirely new generation of devices designed to remove blood clots from blocked brain arteries in patients experiencing an ischemic stroke. It has a self-expanding, stent-like design, and once inserted into a blocked artery using a thin catheter tube, it compresses and traps the clot. The clot is then removed by withdrawing the device, reopening the blocked blood vessel.

"This new device is significantly changing the way we can treat ischemic stroke," said the study's lead author, Dr. Jeffrey L. Saver, director of the UCLA Stroke Center and a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "We are going from our first generation of clot-removing procedures, which were only moderately good in reopening target arteries, to now having a highly effective tool."

Results of the study showed that the device opened blocked vessels without causing symptomatic bleeding in or around the brain in 61 percent of patients. The standard FDAapproved mechanical device a corkscrew-type clot remover called the MERCI Retriever was effective in 24 percent of cases. The use of SOLITAIRE also led to better survival three months after a stroke. There was a 17.2 percent mortality rate with the new device, compared with a
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Contact: Amy Albin
aalbin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-8672
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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