Since strokes often occur as a result of cardiovascular afflictions, there are a large number of scientists and researchers looking into ways of preventing or at least reducing the number of deaths associated with the United States’ number one killer. In one of the most recent studies looking into this particular cardiovascular accident, a team of researchers from Chicago revealed that stroke patients benefit from clot-busting drug.
CLEAR III clinical trial
Atelplase, a particularly potent clot-busting drug, was just proven in a Phase-3 clinical trial to decrease over-all mortality in stroke victims due to intraventricular hemorrhage. Intraventricular hemorrhage, or IVH, is a very severe form of stroke which most often than not ends with the patient dying.
After a Phase-2 trial managed to assert the safety and efficiency of the atelplase drug, also known as tPA, the researchers moved on to Phase-3, finally getting confirmation of the first effective treatment for decreasing mortality rates in IVH victims.
Running for 6 years, from 2009 to 2015, the Phase-3 trial looked at 500 patients receiving standard medical care after suffering from an IVH stroke. Half of the patients were given the tPA, while the other half were given simple saline.
The study was carried out by Dr. Issam Awad from The University of Chicago Medicine and collaborators, and it revealed that if atelplase was quickly applied into brain ventricles along with a drain catheter, the patients’ odds of survival increased by 10%. Even better, using the drug also sped up and increased the chances of recovery for surviving patients.
Blood clots in the brain
For many patients with high volume bleeding in their brains as a result of a stroke, using the technique can significantly improve chances of survival and reduce chances of ending up with a disability.
These hemorrhaging strokes usually take place when blood vessels in the brain rupture. This causes the blood to pool is brain creases, resulting in a very high pressure in the brain, and to subsequent damaged tissue. As blood clots very quickly, it’s very difficult to remove even if the doctors appeal to open brain surgery.
Despite only 15% of all strokes being of the hemorrhagic type, they cause more than 40% of all stroke related deaths. Additionally, around half the cases of this type of stroke lead to blood pools forming and clotting in the brain’s ventricles, causing what is known as intraventricular bleeding.
Especially for IVH patients, this is very devastating, with them showing a mortality rate of between 60 and 80 percent. Among the survivors, 90% of them generally end up having to live with severe disabilities. The team of researchers is confident that the drug will lead to an overall improved quality of life for these patients.
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