The number of patients suffering a brain stroke is continuously rising in India.Nearly one-fifth of the patients suffering a stroke and admitted to the hospital are aged 40 years or less. The most common risk factors for stroke are lifestyle causes such as smoking, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, lack of physical activity and dyslipidemia in young adults are pre-disposing them to face a stroke. The major symptoms of stroke include numbness or weakness of one side of the body, difficulty speaking or trouble understanding, difficulty with vision, sudden severe headache with a stiff neck. Patients, who have suffered a brain stroke areconservatively treated using clot-busting drugs to open blocked blood vessels. However, with the improvement in medical technology newer options for the treatment of brain stroke are now available.
Five global clinical trials have shown that the addition of mechanical thrombectomy (where a stent is used to retrieve blood clot from the brain and restore the blood flow) inaddition to clot-bursting drugs has shown to significantly reduce thedisability and improveneurological outcome in stroke patients.
Mechanical thrombectomy for the brain is what primary angioplasty is to the heart. It is a new promising modality of interventional stroke treatment. An angioplasty is performed to restore blood flow to the heart.Similarly, mechanical thrombectomy in addition to clot-busting drugs can help restore bloodflow quickly.During the procedure, a stent via a catheter is inserted into a blood vessel from the thigh area.It travels through the arteries to the brain, where it is used to dislodge and remove the blood clot. This procedure can be done up to 24 hours of the onset of stroke if a large area of salvageable brain is seen on CT or MR perfusion images. The results are exceptionally good in about 35% of patients who recover completely. Another 35% have a significant reduction in residual deficits.
Brain stroke patients who do not recover after an hour of infusion ofclot-busting drugs should undergo mechanical thrombectomy in the Cathlab.Also, patients coming between four and a halfto eight hours post-stroke should immediately opt for this.