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New stroke procedure greatly improves outcomes
New stroke procedure greatly improves outcomes (February 20, 2015 - Insidermedicine) From Calgary - A clot retrieval procedure, known as endovascular treatment (ET), has been shown to greatly improve outcomes among stroke patients, according to research published in the NEJM. Researchers from the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute conduced a randomized controlled trial to study the effects of the procedure. The trial was known as the ESCAPE trial, and was comprised of 316 patients who had arrived within 12 hours of suffering a stroke. Participants were randomized to either standard medical care, consisting of clot-busting drugs, or to standard medical care plus endovascular treatment. The latter consists of inserting a thin tube into an artery in the groin, through the body and into brain vessels to where the clot is--all guided through x ray. The clot is removed and then pulled out, allowing blood to flow normally to the brain. Results showed that positive outcomes among the patients increased from 30% to 55%, while the overall mortality rate was reduced by 50%. 'These results', say senior author Michael Hill, ' will impact stroke care around the world.