Univ. of Cincinnati receives $17.4 million grant to lead stroke study

CINCINNATI--The University of Cincinnati (UC) Academic Health Center has received $17.4 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to coordinate a five-year, international study of alternative treatments for acute ischemic stroke.

The study, to be led by Joseph Broderick, MD, chair of UC's neurology department, and Thomas Tomsick, MD, director of neuroradiology, will be the first randomized trial of its type in acute ischemic stroke. It will also be the first to compare new procedures against the standard approach to clear clogged brain arteries, the cause of ischemic stroke.

Opening clogged arteries in stroke patients quickly is important, because the longer the blood supply to the brain is blocked, the more likely long-lasting brain damage will occur.

Known as the Interventional Management of Stroke (IMS) III Trial, the study will compare results in about 900 U.S. and Canadian stroke patients treated either with the widely used intravenous, clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), or with a combination of approaches.

Study participants will be randomized to receive either standard doses of tPA, a reduced tPA dose delivered to the clogged brain artery through a catheter (tube) that uses ultrasound to break up clots, or a reduced tPA dose and removal of the clot using a mechanical device called a Merci Retriever.

"Cardiologists have used combinations of drugs and devices to unblock heart arteries for several years. We hope that this trial can be the first step in that direction for acute stroke," Dr. Broderick said.

"We're hoping this will lead to a paradigm shift in stroke treatment, from the standard tPA dose given intravenously to less tPA and a more interventional approach, which will be whatever is needed to open the artery," Dr. Broderick added. "This will mean that instead of just using an IV, centers that have the expertise will be able to do a mor

Contact: Sheryl Hilton
University of Cincinnati

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