After Stroke, Time Matters

Disability after stroke decreased when patients had surgery to remove blood clot faster

(RxWiki News) The faster a patient who has had a stroke has a procedure to remove the blood clot, the better, according to a new study.

This study looked at nearly 1,300 patients from past studies. It found that those who received earlier surgery to remove the blood clot causing the stroke, as well as a medication to help dissolve clots, were better off after three months, in terms of disability, than patients who received the medication and not the surgery.

These benefits were seen when the surgery occurred within six hours of symptom onset, noted the University of Calgary researchers behind this study. That could even further emphasize the need to seek immediate medical attention when you or a loved one is having a stroke.

The benefit of surgical intervention in the study patients appeared to vanish if the surgery occurred more than 7.3 hours after symptom onset, these researchers found. And the optimal time frame for surgery was within two hours.

The patients in this study had large-vessel ischemic strokes. In this type of stroke, a blood clot in a blood vessel blocks blood flow to the brain. When blood flow is blocked for an extended period, patients can become disabled.

This study was published in JAMA.

Information on funding sources and potential conflicts of interest was not available at the time of publication.

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Review Date: 
October 5, 2016