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About Endovascular Stroke Therapy

Endovascular Stroke therapy is a newer method for treating stroke…

that was approved by the FDA in August 2004. With this method, a long tube called a catheter is inserted into an artery in the groin. The catheter is guided through the blood vessels to the site of the blood clot in the brain. A corkscrew-like device, which is passed through the catheter, is then used to trap the clot and physically withdraw it from the brain.

The other FDA approved method for treating stroke is a clot dissolving drug called tissue plasminogen activator tPA.

This drug can be administered intravenously within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. This is a small window of opportunity and this drug is not safe for all stroke victims. tPA can also be administered from within the artery directly into the clot. When administered this way, it can be utilized up to six hours after the onset of stroke symptoms. Endovascular stroke therapy can be used up to eight hours after a stroke onset as long as the blood clot is visible through imaging techniques such as angiography or CT scan. This technique can restore blood flow within minutes. In clinical trials, endovascular stroke therapy was able to restore blood flow in 54% of patients. Thirty-seven percent of those treated with stroke therapy recovered with no or only minor disability. Endovascular stroke therapy offers a promising new method for treating stroke that can be used alone or in conjunction with intravenous tPA. It provides a treatment alternative that can be utilized under circumstances where intravenous tPA cannot.

Endovascular stroke therapy is an emergency procedure that is performed by the RIA Neurointerventional Surgeons at Swedish Medical Center.

As a comprehensive stroke center, Swedish Hospital serves as the major hub in Colorado stroke care receiving patients from a five state region via telemedicine for consideration of intravenous medication and/or surgery to open up the blood vessel. It is our goal to provide fast, effective treatment to all stroke patients.

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