Stanford-led Clinical Trial Shows Broader Benefits of Acute-stroke Therapy

TOP: Images before and during endovascular thrombectomy show (left to right):

  1. Minimal ischemic injury to the right basal ganglia on head CT
  2. Occlusion of the M1 segment of the right middle cerebral artery on CT angiography
  3. A large penumbra (red, tissue at risk of dying if the blood clot causing the stroke is not removed) on CT perfusion imaging.
  4. Cerebral angiography shows occlusion of the MCA (M1 segment; yellow arrow)

BOTTOM: Images after treatment show (left to right):

  1. Small core cerebral infarction on diffusion weighted imaging
  2. Recanalization of the right middle cerebral artery on MR angiography (yellow arrow)
  3. Normal perfusion on MR perfusion imaging (yellow arrow)
  4. Cerebral angiography after thrombectomy shows complete recanalization of the right middle cerebral artery

January 25, 2018

In a multicenter study led by Stanford researchers, the number of stroke patients who died or required confinement to nursing homes was nearly cut in half by utilizing brain-imaging software developed at Stanford. The software helps identify stroke patients who could benefit from a clot-removal procedure, known as thrombectomy, after the window of time during which it has generally been considered helpful has closed. Some patients showed dramatic improvement even when their brain clots were removed as long as 10 hours after the end of this six-hour window.

The findings of the study were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and were the biggest improvement seen in any stroke-related trial to date. The findings were so impressive that the American Stroke Association issued new acute-stroke treatment guidelines that extended the treatment window for certain patients to up to 24 hours after the stroke.