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Stroke treatment device success

Monday August 27th, 2012

New devices to remove blood clots from the brains of stroke patients are proving remarkably successful, researchers reported last night.

Two devices are approved for use in Europe and now trials in America suggest they may be more effective than well-established stent devices which restore blood flow.

One gadget, called Solitaire, is inserted by catheter and then traps blood clots in its self-expanding wire mesh.

The device is then removed with the clot.

Researchers at the UCLA Stroke Center, Los Angeles, USA, found that 58 per cent of patients had a "good" outcome after three months - compared with 33 per cent of those treated with a device called Merci, which restores blood flow.

The study involved 113 patients and the researchers say death rates were also reduced from 38 per cent to 17 per cent.

Researcher Dr Jeffrey Saver said: "This new device is significantly changing the way we can treat ischemic stroke.

"We are going from our first generation of clot-removing procedures, which were only moderately good in reopening target arteries, to now having a highly effective tool."

Professor Raul Nogueira, who tested a similar device, the Trevo, at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA, added: "This new generation of mechanical thrombectomy devices provides us with a highly effective tool for revascularising large vessel strokes and improving overall quality of care in patients with severe and potentially debilitating strokes if they can get to a comprehensive stroke centre quickly for treatment."

The Lancet August 27 2012

Tags: A&E | Brain & Neurology | North America

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