AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 4, 2017

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Stroke Study Expands Window of Clot Removal Treatment for Some Patients

Trial ended early after procedure demonstrated significant benefit.

A procedure to remove clots from blocked brain vessels – known as thrombectomy – may be beneficial for some stroke patients even if they come in to the emergency room beyond the 6-hour treatment window that current guidelines endorse, according to a groundbreaking study conducted by an international team of physicians and researchers led by UPMC and Emory University. 

“When the irreversibly damaged brain area affected by the stroke is small, we see that clot removal can make a significant positive difference, even if performed outside the six hour window,” said Tudor Jovin, M.D., director, UPMC Stroke Institute, director UPMC Center for Endovascular Therapy and professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Pittsburgh, who co-led the trial. “However, this does not diminish urgency with which patients must be rushed to the ER in the event of a stroke. The mantra ‘time is brain’ still holds true.” 

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