Solitaire: New stroke treatment at Edward.
Naperville Sun HealthAware column:
Edward patient among first to receive stroke treatment
May 14, 2012
How well we move, think, communicate, regulate our bodily functions and manage our emotions depends on that amazingly complex organ — the brain. A stroke, which cuts off delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, can create havoc with any of these abilities. And for about 135,000 Americans each year, these “brain attacks” are fatal.
A recently FDA-approved weapon in the fight against ischemic strokes, the Solitaire FR clot removal device, is now available at Edward Hospital’s Neurosciences Institute, a program that’s affiliated with physicians of the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation.
Ischemic strokes are those caused by a blood clot (thrombus) reducing blood flow and, as a result, oxygen to the brain. Another type, hemorrhagic stroke, results from a rupture of a blood vessel that leaks into the brain.
In March, an 84-year-old ischemic stroke patient was the first at Edward and one of the first in Illinois to be treated with the new Solitaire stent retriever for mechanical stroke intervention.
Dr. Sameer Ansari, of the Edward Neurosciences Institute, performed the procedure. Ansari is also an assistant professor at Northwestern University in the departments of radiology, neurology and neurosurgery.
Guided by state-of-the-art 3-D biplane imaging equipment, Ansari inserted a catheter containing the device into an artery in the groin and threaded it up to the stroke-causing clot in the middle cerebral artery. The Solitaire’s stent then expanded in the artery and trapped the clot. The doctor was then able to retrieve and remove the majority of the clot, thereby opening up key blood vessels going to the brain.
“The intervention prevented a more devastating outcome, and most likely even saved the patient’s life,” Ansari says. “He’s now making progress in rehabilitation.”
Stroke patients are candidates for treatment with the Solitaire device if they have a blood clot in a major intracranial vessel, and if they have failed or are not eligible for primary treatment with intravenous tPA, a clot-busting drug. Timely attention is critical no matter what the treatment for strokes. tPA must be administered within four-and-a-half hours of stroke-symptom onset to be effective. In general, the window is eight hours for an invasive intervention with mechanical devices. Among medical situations that would rule out tPA as the primary treatment for a patient is recent surgery, which was the case with Ansari’s 84-year-old patient.
Mechanical devices for treating strokes use either a stent retrieval system, vacuum suction or a tiny corkscrew to remove clots. The Solitaire device’s cage-like structure gives it multiple points of contact with the clot, which helps in capture and retrieval.
The Joint Commission has designated Edward a Stroke Center of Excellence and one of 17 Primary Stroke Centers in the Chicago area. In addition, Edward has been recognized by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines program for achievement in cardiac and stroke patient care.
Naperville, Illinois (IL) - Edward Hospital and Health Services