Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Balloon Procedure In The Brain? Longest Follow-Up To Date Shows Good Results

Date:
May 7, 1999
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
The balloon procedure routinely used to unblock clogged arteries in the heart to prevent heart attacks shows promise for opening narrowed blood vessels in the brain that can lead to stroke, researchers report today in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

DALLAS, May 7 -- The balloon procedure routinely used to unblock clogged arteries in the heart to prevent heart attacks shows promise for opening narrowed blood vessels in the brain that can lead to stroke, researchers report today in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Related Articles


The angioplasty balloon procedure opened blocked arteries in 91 percent of the study participants, says lead researcher Michael P. Marks, M.D., of the Stanford Stroke Center in Stanford, Calif. The 23 individuals in the study were between the ages of 31 to 84 and were treated at the Stanford University Medical Center. Ten of the patients had prior strokes and the other patients had severe blockages in the brain arteries.

"Our study, which is the first to follow patients for up to three years, also seems to indicate that angioplasty reduces risk of stroke. However, larger studies are needed to confirm that finding," says Marks, associate professor of radiology and director of neuroradiology at the Stanford Stroke Center.

Balloon angioplasty may prove as effective in preventing stroke as it has in preventing heart attacks because the procedure treats the same disease process. Both strokes and heart attacks are caused by the fatty-plaque obstructions, called atherosclerosis, that impair blood flow in arteries and blood vessels of the heart and brain. The American Heart Association says a total of 660,000 angioplasty procedures are conducted in the United States to reduce the risk of heart attack in people whose heart arteries are obstructed by atherosclerosis.

Because angioplasty to prevent stroke is an experimental procedure, relatively few people are receiving this therapy. Previous studies have included a small series of patients who were followed for a limited period of time.

"Although this procedure can be performed for stroke with a high degree of technical success, there is still a risk associated with the procedure," Marks says. "It should be reserved for individuals who do not respond to drug therapy alone."

In addition to angioplasty, coronary bypass surgery is another common treatment for restoring blood flow to the heart. However, bypass surgery is impractical for treating narrowed vessels that feed blood to the brain

In angioplasty, a tiny balloon-tipped catheter is threaded through a blood vessel. When the catheter reaches the area of blockage, the balloon is inflated, compressing atherosclerotic plaque, or fatty build-up, against the vessel lining and opening a wider channel for blood flow.

Although angioplasty has a high technical success rate, it still carries risks. In the stroke study, one patient died of a ruptured blood vessel at the time of the procedure, and another patient had a blood clot near the site of the original blockage an hour after undergoing the procedure. That clot was successfully dissolved with medication.

During about three years of follow-up, two individuals in the study who were treated with angioplasty had strokes in the area of the blockage and three had strokes in other areas of the brain. All patients received continued medical therapy after the procedure. After three years, the patients had an annual stroke rate of 3.2 percent in the area of the blockage and an overall annual stroke rate of 4.8 percent.

"It is difficult to know precisely how these stroke rates would compare to rates of stroke among individuals treated with medication (such as warfarin and aspirin) alone," Marks says. Some limited data available from other studies indicates an annual stroke rate of 7.8 percent to 10.7 percent when individuals are treated with medication alone. "Based on these data, it appears that angioplasty has significantly reduced the stroke rate.

"This study indicates a need for additional studies comparing the usefulness of angioplasty versus medication alone," Marks says. "At this point there is no other proven therapy to treat this problem, especially for patients who are having continuing problems."

Co-researchers include Mary Marcellus, R.N.; Alexander M. Norbash, M.D.; Gary K. Steinberg, M.D., Ph.D.; David Tong, M.D. and Gregory W. Albers, M.D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Balloon Procedure In The Brain? Longest Follow-Up To Date Shows Good Results." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990507071229.htm>.
American Heart Association. (1999, May 7). Balloon Procedure In The Brain? Longest Follow-Up To Date Shows Good Results. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990507071229.htm
American Heart Association. "Balloon Procedure In The Brain? Longest Follow-Up To Date Shows Good Results." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990507071229.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

Oxfam Calls for Massive Aid for Ebola-Hit West Africa

AFP (Jan. 29, 2015) Oxfam International has called for a multi-million dollar post-Ebola "Marshall Plan", with financial support given by wealthy countries, to help Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to recover. Duration: 01:10 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Are We Winning The Fight Against Ebola?

Newsy (Jan. 29, 2015) The World Health Organization announced the fight against Ebola has entered its second phase as the number of cases per week has steadily dropped. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins