Four new clinical trials which were a part of a small new study have suggested that grabbing and then retrieving a blood clot which is blocking the flow of blood to the brain is more effective than simply administering clot busting drugs. Doing so with the help of a medical advice, it was found, also improves the chances of patients recovering from a stroke besides reducing rates of death and disability caused by a stroke.
The findings of the latest research were based upon a comparison of patients who were given only clot dissolving medicines with those who were given intra-arterial intervention in addition to the above. It was seen that the latter ‘are more likely to be discharged from the hospital, and to go home in better shape.’
Intra-arterial stroke treatment involves the use of suction or a stenting device to first capture and then withdraws the blood clot(s) which are lodged in the vessels leading to the brain and thereby obstructing the flow of blood to them. The devices are already in use at some comprehensive stroke centers across the United States.
Many of these centers, however, have been seen to reluctant to offer the treatment or have discontinued providing it, citing mixed findings about the results accruing from their use. That is partly because of the fact that insurers are too sure about the proposed benefits of the procedure and, in many cases, have refused to pay for the same.
Since the findings of the previous three studies about the benefits of the clot removing devices had failed to show the benefits resulting from their use, the findings of the latest one, believe the experts, are likely to change the manner in which a stroke is treated.
“The results of two of the clinical trials were published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at an international conference on stroke in Nashville. Two more studies described at the meeting offered further confirmation of the clot-retrieval devices’ benefits,” says LA Times.
The neurologist and neurosurgeons present at the aforementioned conference greeted the findings of this study with standing ovations, which is why they are being presented as ‘game changing’ findings.