Image-guided stent retrievers speed treatment to improve stroke outcomes

Stent retrievers guided by radiography allow for faster treatment of ischemic stroke and improve patient outcomes, according to results of a new study published online April 19 in the journal Radiology.

Nearly 90 percent of all strokes are acute ischemic strokes, which are caused by artery blockages that limit blood flow to the brain, rapidly killing delicate brain tissues.

For this reason, the timeliness of stroke treatment is of the utmost importance to the patient’s survival and future quality of life, said lead author Mayank Goyal, MD, University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada.

“The earlier that patients with acute ischemic stroke get to a hospital offering the appropriate treatment, the higher the likelihood is of a good outcome,” he said in a press release.

Goyal and his team used data from the Solitaire with the Intention for Thrombectomy as Primary Endovascular Treatment (SWIFT PRIME) Trial for patients treated with stent retrievers to investigate the association between the duration of time from onset to treatment and prospective quality of life factors.

Their results showed that treatment through successful clot removal in the first 2.5 hours of stroke onset was associated with minimal or no disability in 91 percent of patients, 10 percent higher than  patients treated within 2.5 and 3.5 hours. Every hour following the initial 3.5-hour time window resulted in a 20 percent lower probability of functional independence.

“Given the substantial decrease in functional independence with increase in time to restoration of blood flow, every step in the work up and treatment of these patients should be weighed against the time spent versus the potential benefit,” said Goyal.