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New research pinpoints best treatment for stroke

NOTE: This release has been updated since its original posting.

April 20, 2005, New Orleans: Interventional neuroradiologists at West Virginia University School of Medicine and Hospitals today presented the largest study to date on the utility of computed tomography (CT) perfusion imaging of the brain in determining and predicting stroke outcomes. Results will help better identify patients who are suitable candidates for treatment utilizing either clot busting medicines or clot retrieval devices. The research was presented to leading neurosurgeons at the 73rd annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

The research, which examined 372 stroke patients, is significant because it allows doctors to customize stroke treatments based on the degree of brain death, instead of relying solely on how soon or late a patient comes to the hospital after having stroke symptoms.

Under NIH stroke guidelines, hospitals typically administer tPA (a clot-busting drug) to patients within a three-hour window of stroke onset. After six hours, it's generally considered too risky to administer even interarterial clot busting medicines, due to the risk of a potentially deadly hemorrhage.

But research presented by interventional neuroradiologists Jeff Carpenter, M.D., and Ansaar Rai, M.D., Assistant Professors at The Department of Neurological Surgery of West Virginia University School of Medicine, suggests more lives might be saved and debilitating side effects minimized if treatment of stroke patients was based on qualitative and quantitative imaging such as CT perfusion and CT angiography and not on generalized application of arbitrary time windows of three to six hours.

Those windows can exclude some patients who may benefit from treatment and include others who may suffer from serious complications of the treatment. Application of this research could increase the time window of treatment for stroke patients to greater tha
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Contact: Paul Moniz
paul.moniz@widmeyer.com
212-260-3401
Widmeyer Communications
20-Apr-2005


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