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Stroke prevention trial finds intensive medical treatment has better results than brain stenting
Date:9/8/2011

CLEVELAND -- Patients at a high risk for a second stroke who received intensive medical treatment had fewer strokes and deaths than patients who received a brain stent in addition to the medical treatment, a large nationwide clinical trial has shown. The results were published in the online first edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. University Hospitals (UH) Case Medical Center was one of the clinical research sites for the study.

The medical regimen included daily blood-thinning medications and aggressive control of blood pressure and cholesterol.

New enrollment in the study was stopped in April because early data showed significantly more strokes and deaths occurred among the stented patients at the 30-day mark compared to the group who received the medical management alone. The study had planned on recruiting 764 patients, but it stopped recruitment of patients after the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) determined there were significant findings with the first 451 patients.

Dr. Cathy Sila, Director of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center in the UH Neurological Institute and the principal investigator of the UH clinical research site, said, "Stroke specialists are all disappointed that stenting did not have the beneficial impact we thought it would have. We have always known that it is much more difficult to stent a blockage in the brain than in the heart but we cannot abandon this technology. We need to better understand the tolerances of the brain vasculature and continue to reengineer our tools.

"For now, we are thrilled that the effect of a very aggressive patient care plan to address all of their risk factors and make lifestyle changes to healthier living have demonstrated a significant impact in preventing stroke- and this impact is significant in as early as one month. I think this is a major achievement. The stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) is the 'warning shot across the bow'
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Contact: George Stamatis
george.stamatis@uhhospitals.org
216-844-3667
University Hospitals Case Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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