February 22, 2018 – Retrieving Clots


Anchor lead: Using surgery to remove blood clots in the brain can really help, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Thrombectomy is the medical term for removing a blood clot surgically, with two studies reported recently at the International Stroke Conference showing that now, such a strategy may be used for up to 24 hours following a stroke. Rebecca Gottesman, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, says very specific conditions must be met.

Gottesman: The actual amount of dead brain cells, the actual amount of damaged brain tissue that’s irreversibly damaged is relatively small, yet there’s evidence they’re at risk for having a larger area that’s not getting enough blood flow, if there’s a smaller core and a bigger area of at risk tissue, that we can determine from imaging, then those are patients that we can bring in and still do thrombectomy safely, DIFFUSE said up to 16 hours the DAWN trial said up to 24 hours, so this really dramatically changes the number of people with this type of stroke that we can actually do something for, to help their outcomes.  :32

Gottesman notes that both studies point to the utility of specialized stroke centers for best treatment. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.