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Preventing a second stroke is focus of study at Rush University Medical Center
Date:3/3/2009

Rush University Medical Center is participating in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study to determine the best course of treatment to reduce the risk of stroke patients suffering another stroke. The study will determine if aggressive treatment of stroke victims for high blood pressure and cholesterol, along with placing a stent to widen a narrowed artery in a patient's brain, is better than intensive medical therapy alone.

The study is called the Stenting versus Aggressive Medical Management for Preventing Recurrent Stroke in Intracrainal Stenosis or SAMMPRIS. The study is the first to look at the long-term benefits of the Wingspan stent, the only FDA approved stent designed to open clogged arteries in the brain.

"Prior to the Wingspan stent, the options for treating stroke patients were limited. Blood-thinning medications are commonly used to treat narrowing of intracranial arteries, but studies have found that stroke patients who had severe artery blockages of 70 percent or more have a 22 percent chance of having another stroke within the first year," said Dr. Shyam Prabhakaran, section head of Cerebrovascular Disease and Neurological Critical Care at Rush

Dr. Demetrius Lopes, neuroendovascular surgeon at Rush, was the first physician in Illinois to use the Wingspan stent. The catheterization procedure involves carefully threading a hair-like filament from a tiny incision on the inside of the thigh through the body's arteries and veins up to the patient's brain. After reaching the site of the blockage, the plaque-filled brain vessel is first opened using a microscopic balloon that is inflated, pressing aside the blockage. The stent is placed to hold the plaque against the artery wall and keep the blood flowing through the brain.

"Rush has the largest experience with the Wingspan stent in Chicago. The stent has been quite effective in preventing recurrent strokes in more than 100 cases," said Lopes.

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Contact: Kim Waterman
kimberly_waterman@rush.edu
312-942-7820
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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