Effectiveness of new stroke treatment confirmed

April 17, 2015, University of Calgary

A research paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) today confirms earlier findings that a procedure called endovascular therapy (ET) for ischemic stroke is the best treatment option for many patients by reducing the incidents of disability. This is the fourth research paper published this year that confirms the efficacy of the treatment.

"Endovascular treatment using stent retrievers will become the standard of care for patients with " says Dr. Mayank Goyal, University of Calgary, Cumming School of Medicine, Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Department of Radiology.

The paper was co-authored by Goyal and Dr. Jeffrey Saver, Professor of Neurology, Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Director, UCLA Comprehensive Stroke Center.

Overall, positive outcomes for patients increased from 35 per cent to 60 per cent.

The clinical trial is known by the acronym SWIFT-PRIME. (Solitaire with the Intention for Thrombectomy as Primary Endovascular Treatment) randomized 196 patients to receive either t-PA, a clot busting drug or tPA plus ET. The study had 39 participating sites in the United States and Western Europe.

ET is performed by inserting a thin tube into the artery in the groin, through the body, and into the brain vessels to the clot. This is done under image-guided care using an X-ray. The clot is then removed by a retrievable stent and pulled out, restoring blood flow to the brain.

This is the second NEJM publication for Goyal this year. In February Goyal, along with HBI and Department of Clinical Neuroscience members Drs. Michael Hill and Andrew Demchuk, led an international trial showing that ET for victims dramatically improved outcome.

The trial known as ESCAPE (Endovascular treatment for Small Core and Anterior circulation Proximal occlusion with Emphasis on minimizing CT to recanalization times), showed positive outcomes for patients increased from 30 per cent to 55 per cent. In many cases, instead of suffering major neurological disability, patients went home to resume their lives. The overall mortality rate was reduced from two in 10 patients for standard treatment of care to one in 10 patients - a 50 per cent reduction with ET.

ESCAPE was led by the HBI along with the departments of clinical neurosciences and radiology at the Cumming School of Medicine. ESCAPE had 316 patients, at 22 sites in five countries. Eleven of these sites were in Canada.

As a result of all four publications, policy makers are now in the process of rewriting international clinical care guidelines for stroke care.

Explore further: Researchers find new therapy benefits stroke patients

Related Stories

Researchers find new therapy benefits stroke patients

February 11, 2015
Canadian researchers have completed an international randomized controlled trial showing that a clot retrieval procedure, known as endovascular treatment (ET), can dramatically improve patient outcomes after an acute ischemic ...

New stent devices can limit stroke damage, says neurosurgeon

March 27, 2015
Elizabeth Celli was experiencing a moderate-to-severe stroke when she arrived at Loyola University Medical Center's Emergency Department.

New study 'game-changer' for stroke treatment worldwide

February 11, 2015
A landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine today heralds a new era in stroke treatment across the globe.

Analysis shows benefits of endovascular therapy for severe stroke

February 17, 2015
A pooled analysis of two recent clinical trials involving the use of devices to treat stroke-causing blood clots indicates that patients with the most severe strokes stand to benefit the most, new research presented by a ...

Stroke patients experience superior outcomes with intra-arterial treatment vs. tPA

December 17, 2014
Penumbra, Inc., the market leader in intra-arterial stroke treatment, announced that an independent study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine found that intra-arterial stroke treatment, including ...

'Clot-buster' drug may still be best stroke treatment

February 7, 2013
(HealthDay)—The standard medical care for patients having an ischemic stroke is to give powerful "clot-busting" drugs as soon as possible after the start of the stroke.

Recommended for you

Drinking alcohol makes your heart race

March 18, 2018
The more alcohol you drink, the higher your heart rate gets, according to research presented today at EHRA 2018 Congress, organized by the European Society of Cardiology.

Study of nearly 300,000 people challenges the 'obesity paradox'

March 15, 2018
The idea that it might be possible to be overweight or obese but not at increased risk of heart disease, otherwise known as the "obesity paradox", has been challenged by a study of nearly 300,000 people published in in the ...

Mending broken hearts with cardiomyocyte molds

March 13, 2018
2.5 billion. That's approximately the number of times the human heart beats in 70 years. And sometimes during the course of its unrelenting contractions and relaxations, the heart muscle can no longer bear the strain.

Common infections a bigger heart disease and stroke risk than obesity

March 13, 2018
A major study into the impact of common infections leading to hospitalisation has found they may substantially increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and in the longer term, death.

Aspirin prevents venous thromboembolism following major orthopedic surgeries, study finds

March 13, 2018
A multicentre, double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial of patients who underwent total hip or knee replacement surgery showed that aspirin was as effective as rivaroxaban, the standard anti-coagulation medication, ...

Barbershop-based healthcare study successfully lowers high blood pressure in African-American men

March 12, 2018
African-American men successfully lowered their high blood pressure to healthy levels when aided by a pharmacist and their local barber, according to a new study from the Smidt Heart Institute.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.