CINCINNATI—The use of devices or medication within the arteries to treat stroke-causing blood clots at the site of blockage failed to improve stroke outcomes compared with the current standard treatment of intravenous (IV) clot-busting medication alone, new research led by a University of Cincinnati (UC) neurologist shows.
The study, being published online today (Thursday, Feb. 7), by the New England Journal of Medicine, was authored by Joseph Broderick, MD, Albert Barnes Voorheis Chair of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine at UC and research director of the UC Neuroscience Institute, one of four institutes of the UC College of Medicine and UC Health. Results were also being presented today at the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013 in Honolulu.
“Our study highlights that improved reopening of arteries and delivery of blood flow to the brain was not a guarantee of improved clinical efficacy,” Dr. Broderick says. “It means we still have to answer the question of who benefits most from the new technology going inside the artery, because it takes a lot of time and effort and is more expensive.”
Patients studied for this research were part of the Interventional Management of Stroke III (IMS III) trial, begun in 2006 and funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With 656 adult stroke patients at 58 centers in the United States, Canada, Australia and Europe, it was the largest trial to date of an endovascular intervention for acute ischemic stroke (treatment delivered within the brain artery at the site of the clot), NINDS officials said. (Ischemic strokes occur as a result of an obstruction to the blood flow, typically a clot.)