“The bottom line is that stroke is a deadly condition,” said study lead author Dr Italo Linfante, director of endovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology at the Baptist Cardiac and Vascular Institute in Miami. “Up to 10 years ago it was a death sentence. Yet now if you go to the hospital early enough with a stroke there are several ways to be treated.”
Current treatments are 60% successful, he noted, “so we are always looking to develop better and better weapons, and pushing the limits to fix it. And with stents we are reaching 95%, in terms of successfully opening up the arteries.”
Stents in brain restore blood flow
Ischaemic strokes, caused by blood clots, are the more common type of stroke. Haemorrhagic stroke, the other type, occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.
Before participating in the study, none of the patients had benefited from standard treatments used to remove arterial blockages in the brain. These blockages reduce normal blood flow and raise the risk for death and disability. Standard treatments range from clot-dissolving drugs to procedures aimed at suctioning out blockages.