Clot-Buster Improved by Ultrasound in Stoke Patients

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A new study showcased that a hands-free ultrasound device in conjunction with a clot-busting drug was quite safe and effective for ischemic stroke patients.

The phase II pilot-study results were published online in the American Heart Association journal Stroke

Lead author of the study, Andrew D. Barreto, MD, is an assistant professor of neurology in the Stroke Program at the University of Texas (UT) Health Medical School (Houston, USA).

The appliance, which utilizes UTHealth technology accredited to Cerevast Therapeutics, Inc. (Redmond, WA, USA), is situated on the stroke patient’s head and delivers ultrasound to maximize the effectiveness of the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). Unlike to the standard hand-held ultrasound probe that is directed at a blood clot, the hands-free device used 18 separate probes and floods the deep areas of the brain where large blood clots cause severe strokes. 

“Our goal is to open up more arteries in the brain and help stroke patients recover. This technology would have a significant impact on patients, families, and society if we could improve outcomes by another 10% or more by adding ultrasound to patients who’ve already received tPA,” said Barreto.clot buster heart

Being the first study of its kind, in which 20 more or less severe ischemic stroke patients (12 men and eight women, median age of 63 years) were administered intravenous tPA for up to 4.5 hours following symptoms exhibited and two hours exposure to 2-MHz pulsed wave transcranial ultrasound. 

Researchers reported that 13 (or 65%) patients either returned home or to rehabilitation 90 days following the combination treatment. Five of the 20 patients, after three months, had no apparent disability from the stroke, while one had a slight disability.

Cerevast Therapeutics has recently introduced an 830-patient international, randomized efficiency study of the ultrasound device in accordance with the clot buster in ischemic stroke. 

Barreto is the North American lead investigator for that phase III study called Combined Lysis of Thrombus with Ultrasound and Systemic Tissue Plasminogen Activator (tPA) for Emergent Revascularization in Acute Ischemic Stroke (CLOTBUST-ER).

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