Think You're Having a Stroke? Don't Delay

Rapid clot removal during stroke tied to improved outcomes

(RxWiki News) When you're having a stroke, quick response is key. And that counts for blood clot removal, too.

In a new study, faster blood clot removal during stroke was tied to less disability in patients.

Past research supports the idea that removing blood clots during ischemic strokes, in addition to standard treatment with clot-busting drugs — which are caused by blood clots that block blood flow to the brain — within six hours of stroke onset are tied to improved outcomes. But the current study, led by Ashutosh P. Jadhav, MD, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, found that removing clots within a shorter time frame could improve outcomes even more.

For their study, Dr. Jadhav and colleagues looked at 83 stroke patients who underwent blood clot removal.

Among patients who had their blood clots removed within 2.5 hours, 87 percent were able to achieve functional independence, in other words little or no disability related to their stroke.

Patients who had their blood clots removed between 2.5 and 3.5 hours were 10 percent less likely to achieve functional independence (less likely to experience little or no disability) than those patients who had earlier clot removal, Dr. Jadhav and team found. Disability after stroke can include problems with thinking, language and movement.

After the 3.5-hour mark, each additional hour was tied to a 15 percent reduced chance for functional independence.

This study was presented Feb. 17 at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2016. Research presented at conferences may not have been peer-reviewed.

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

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Review Date: 
February 18, 2016