Snagging blood clots upgrades stroke care | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

MISSION CRITICAL

Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


News

Snagging blood clots upgrades stroke care

A new device threaded up to the brain can unblock jammed cerebral arteries

By
3:10pm, May 19, 2015
opening brain vessel

GRAB AND GO  A new medical device uses a catheter to deliver a wire mesh stent to snag and remove stroke-causing blood clots from inside brain arteries, restoring blood flow. 

View the video

Taking a cue from cardiology, doctors have begun treating strokes caused by blood clots in the brain by the most direct route imaginable — approaching the blockage from inside the artery.

The concept is well-tested. Obstructed heart vessels are routinely opened with balloon-tipped catheters threaded up to the blockage. Attempts to clear obstructions in the brain have proved devilishly difficult, though (SN: 10/8/11, p. 14). Just two years ago, the idea appeared doomed.

But recently, a string of successes using a new device made just for the brain has rendered clot extraction a reality, revolutionizing stroke treatment. Five studies all show that people in the throes of a major clot-based stroke are better off getting the clot removed by a stent-tipped catheter plus standard care than by getting standard care alone. Four trials were stopped

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content