Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Targeted Clot-Busting Stops Stroke Damage

Date:
February 26, 2001
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
An experimental technique that delivers clot-busting medication directly to a brain artery blockage may limit damage done by strokes, researchers reported at the American Stroke Association’s 26th International Stroke Conference.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Feb. 15 – An experimental technique that delivers clot-busting medication directly to a brain artery blockage may limit damage done by strokes, researchers reported today at the American Stroke Association’s 26th International Stroke Conference. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association.

The technique, known as intra-arterial thrombolysis, involves threading a catheter with clot-busting medication such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) through a large blood vessel in the groin up to the brain. Using imaging tools and contrast dye, doctors pinpoint the precise location of the brain blockage and deliver the medication to that spot. Researchers reviewed the medical records of 90 acute stroke patients treated with the technique at UCLA Medical Center between July 1992 and June 2000. Subjects were an average age of 69; 53 percent were female and 53 percent also had atrial fibrillation at the time of their stroke.

Atrial fibrillation is a disorder in which the heart’s upper chambers do not constrict properly, sometimes leading to the formation of blood clots. A blood clot can cause a stroke if it dislodges from the heart wall, enters the blood stream and encounters a narrowed artery in the brain.

About 2 million Americans have atrial fibrillation and about 15 percent of strokes occur in people with the condition. Under-treated atrial fibrillation is a well-recognized risk factor for more severe, and debilitating strokes.

"Atrial fibrillation is associated with increased stroke severity and a greater stroke death rate," says David S. Liebeskind, M.D., lead author of the study and clinical instructor at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center’s Comprehensive Stroke Center. "Intra-arterial thrombolysis may be of substantial benefit for these individuals by opening arteries more frequently and permitting treatment up to six hours after symptom onset."

Intravenous tPA for acute stroke can be administered only during a three-hour window of time after stroke onset. Intra-arterial thrombolysis can be performed up to six hours after a stroke’s onset. However, extra time is needed to assemble a team of medical personnel with special expertise and training.

In the study, 40 percent of the group showed good functional outcomes after intra-arterial thrombolysis – only slight disability and adequate ability to look after their own affairs without assistance – one week after the stroke.

"We found intra-arterial thrombolysis opened blocked arteries in 67 percent of acute stroke patients with atrial fibrillation. Traditional intravenous delivery of clot busters opens arteries in 30 to 40 percent of all patients," says Liebeskind.

The investigators cautioned that brain hemorrhage occurred in 25 percent of the group. Hemorrhage rates were higher among those with atrial fibrillation and in-hospital death rates were also higher – 19 percent compared to 7 percent for those without atrial fibrillation. The brain hemorrhage rate for intravenous tPA is 6 percent.

Liebeskind says it is a promising treatment for ischemic stroke patients with atrial fibrillation, although the technique remains experimental.

He also notes that the study raises red flags about whether individuals with atrial fibrillation are getting adequate treatment before they have an acute stroke.

"At the time of admission, only 30 percent of individuals known to have atrial fibrillation were being treated in accordance with American Heart Association/American College of Chest Physician guidelines," he says. "And among those on blood thinning medications because of atrial fibrillation before their stroke, all were treated at below optimal doses."

Other authors are Jeffrey L. Saver, M.D.; Gary R. Duckwiler, M.D.; Chelsea S. Kidwell, M.D.; Joaquin Carneado; Sidney Starkman, M.D.; Paul M. Vespa, M.D.; Y. Pierre Gobin, M.D.; Reza Jahan; Fernando Vinuela, M.D.; and Scott E. Kasner, 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. "Targeted Clot-Busting Stops Stroke Damage." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 February 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010216081511.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2001, February 26). Targeted Clot-Busting Stops Stroke Damage. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010216081511.htm
American Heart Association. "Targeted Clot-Busting Stops Stroke Damage." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010216081511.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Respiratory Virus Spreads To Northeast, Now In 21 States

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) The respiratory virus Enterovirus D68, which targets children, has spread from the Midwest to 21 states. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Contagious Respiratory Illness Continues to Spread Across U.S.

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 12, 2014) Hundreds of children in several states have been stricken by a serious respiratory illness that is spreading across the U.S. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Ebola Batters Sierra Leone Economy Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 12, 2014) The World Health Organisation warns that local health workers in West Africa can't keep up with Ebola - and among those countries hardest hit by the outbreak, the economic damage is coming into focus, too. As David Pollard reports, Sierra Leone admits that growth in one of the poorest economies in the region is taking a beating. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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