In a study from Case Western Reserve University, scientists found that patients with large strokes had a much better recovery after endovascular thrombectomy plus medical management than patients receiving only standard medical management.
Endovascular thrombectomy is the mechanical recovery of a clot blocking blood flow in an artery.
The SELECT2 study, which involved 31 medical centers in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, was stopped early because of the successful results seen in patients who received thrombectomy versus medication only.
While thrombectomy has proven effective in smaller strokes, patients with large strokes were considered too high risk for the procedure.
The size of a stroke is determined by a range of damaged brain tissue seen through CT or MRI scans.
In the study, the team examined 560 patients with large artery occlusion causing a large stroke.
The patients were assigned to one of two groups: 178 received thrombectomy and 174 received medical management.
Patients who were seen prior to 4.5 hours from the onset of stroke received clot-buster drugs TPA or TNKase if eligible.
The team found that almost 20% of the patients who received a thrombectomy ended up with functional independence, going back to their family, and to society as almost normal, or not needing support, compared to 7% for medical treatment only.
They also found that almost 40% of the patients end up ambulating independently.
This is a huge improvement in these patients with large strokes who are not being offered treatment at this point.
The team expects the results to change treatment guidelines in the near future. This will give a large number of patients the opportunity for chance for improvement.
If you care about stroke, please read studies about the drug combo that prevents stroke and heart disease, and how a wife recognized the signs of stroke and helped save her husband.
For more information about stroke, please see recent studies that salt substitutes could effectively prevent stroke, and results showing at 38, she had two strokes in one day.
The study was conducted by Amrou Sarraj et al and published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
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