January 15, 2015 – Clot Removal


Anchor lead:  What’s the best way to remove blood clots from the brain? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Stroke experts are jubilant at results of a study reported recently where mechanical techniques to remove blood clots from the brains of people who had had strokes were used in addition to the clot-busting drug TPA when the drug alone failed to dissolve the clot, with people treated using both strategies better off.  Steven Zeiler, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, says there’s more than one way to remove the clot.

Zeiler: The operators could use any technique they wanted to get the clot out. And a fair number used one of these newer technologies, these stent retrievers, where you pop a stent in the brain, open up the clot and then pull the stent back out, including the clot.  But not all the patients got that, some of them got tried and true techniques like just pumping in a bit of TPA  next to the clot but the take home message is these patients did better.   :26

Zeiler says what really matters is not the method used but the skill and experience of the operator.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.