SAN DIEGO – Neurologists have long suspected that some stroke patients could benefit from thrombectomy many hours after they were last seen well. But lingering doubts remained, and physicians weren’t sure which stroke patients were likely to improve.
Now, with the early stoppage of two key clinical trials, the answer is clear, Jeffrey Saver, MD, director of the stroke unit at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a video interview at the annual meeting of the American Neurological Association.
At the European Stroke Organization Conference in May, Stryker Neurovascular announced the results of its DAWN trial, which tested the company’s mechanical thrombectomy device in patients who’d suffered a stroke within the past 6-24 hours and in whom imaging showed a clinical core mismatch. It was stopped early based on an interim analysis after it met multiple prespecified stopping criteria. At 90 days, 48.6% of patients in the treatment group were functionally independent, compared with 13.1% who received only medical management.
The DEFUSE 3 trial examined endovascular thrombectomy in patients 6-16 hours after a stroke who appeared to have salvageable brain tissue based on target mismatch profile with a less extreme core than in DAWN. It too was halted early because of a high probability of efficacy. Together, the trials suggest neurologists are entering a new era of treating based on tissue and not just time, Dr. Saver said.