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Who’s the Best Candidate for Endovascular Treatment?

Researchers find a better way to determine the need for endovascular surgery with new scanning technology.


 

Patients who have had ischemic strokes often receive endovascular treatment along with tissue plasminogen activator (T-PA) to break up clots in the brain, but bleeding is a serious risk. T-PA has a distinct window of effectiveness, but less is known about endovascular treatment. A new imaging method may help resolve that by identifying stroke patients who are not likely to benefit from endovascular surgery.

Related: Percutaneous Endovascular Treatment of Subclavian Steal Syndrome

Researchers from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD; Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; University of Melbourne, Australia, collected brain scans from more than 100 patients before they underwent endovascular therapy, within 12 hours of the stroke. Using a new method of image processing, the researchers got detailed measurements on just how much a stroke disrupts the blood-brain barrier and combined those measurements with findings from the DEFUSE-2 study (Diffusion and Perfusion Imaging Evaluation for Understanding Stroke Evolution).

They found that large degrees of blood-brain barrier disruption were associated with severe bleeding following endovascular surgery. Extensive breakdown of the blood-brain barrier was associated with parenchymal hematoma, which 24 of the 100 patients in the study experienced. The study also showed a link between the location of blood-brain barrier damage and posttreatment bleeding.

Related: Standard vs Intensive Emergency Stroke Treatment

“The biggest impact of this research is that information from MRI scans routinely collected at a number of research hospitals and stroke centers can inform treating physicians on the risk of bleeding,” said one of the study authors, Richard Leigh, MD, a scientist with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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