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Research Conducted at St. Joseph’s Hospital Suggests Endovascular Therapy May Improve Quality of Life for Stroke Patients

Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious long-term disability in the United States. Nationwide, someone suffers a stroke every 45 seconds and on average, one American dies from stroke every 4 minutes. According to a recent study by St. Joseph’s Hospital interventional neuroradiologist Matthew Berlet, M.D. and interventional radiologist Glenn Stambo, M.D., patients see better results when they receive endovascular treatment at a dedicated stroke center.

The research, conducted at St. Joseph’s Hospital and published in the September 2013 edition of Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases, looked at 76 acute ischemic stroke patients during a two-year period. Berlet and Stambo discovered that patients treated with endovascular therapies at dedicated comprehensive stroke centers had fewer disabilities 90 days after a stroke than those treated with intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) or who received no treatment at all.

Ischemic strokes, which occur when an obstruction within a blood vessel leads to an abrupt blockage of blood flow to the brain, account for 87 percent of all strokes. IV tPA remains the most common and most readily available therapy to treat ischemic strokes. However, the study suggests that endovascular stroke therapy administered at a dedicated stroke center may have an impact on a patient’s quality of life compared with conservative traditional treatments.   

A more extensive, double-blind study would help define and elaborate this research, but this data may help educate the public about the necessity for continued advancement in stroke diagnosis and treatment. 

Other contributing authors of the study include Merle Kelley, R.N., Kelly Van Epps, M.D., Troy Woeste, M.D. and Diana Steffen, R.T.

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