Stroke is the second biggest killer and one of the leading causes of disability in adults worldwide. 80% are a result of blood clots in the brain, known as ischaemic stroke. While clot-busting drugs have been shown to be effective if administered within a very short time period, some clots are too big for this treatment to be effective.
Adjunct Clinical Professor Thanh Phan, of the Department of Medicine at Monash University, has participated in a study in to a new treatment for large clots, led by Dr Bruce Campbell from the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The latest intervention treatment is known as a stent-thrombectomy. It involves inserting a small tube or stent, through an artery in the groin and feeding it up to the brain to capture and remove the clot. The success of this treatment has relied on improving clot removal technology with equipment and better internal imaging, as well as faster post-stroke treatment times.
Trials showed that 32% of the stroke sufferers given the clot-busting drugs alone had unblocked arteries 24 hours after the stroke, compared to 89% in those given the clot-busting drugs as well as the new treatment. Three months later, 71% of those given the stent treatment had recovered independence, compared to 40% in those given just the drugs.
[img source] UCI UC Irvine (CCA2.0)