Balloon-guided catheters offer better blood flow after stroke, study says

By Tauren Dyson

Feb. 4 (UPI) -- People who've suffered strokes may have a new, more effective way to unclog their arteries, a new study says.

Patients who suffered from large vessel occlusions and had their arteries unblocked with a balloon-guided catheter felt "better restoration of blood flow scores and better clinical outcomes" compared to patients who received treatment with a traditional catheter, according to a study published Saturday in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.


"Achieving complete or near complete blood flow is the goal to restore strength, language, coordination, reflexes and sensation to patients suffering from ischemic stroke," Osama Zaidat, study senior author who created the TRevo Acute Ischemic Stroke Thrombectomy Registry, said in a news release.

The procedure, known as clot retrieval, is the normal way to treat LVO, or strokes that happen after one of the brain's main arteries are blocked.

"Stopping arterial flow is an important step that can improve restoration of blood flow, reduce the number of blood clot emboli to a new area and potentially improve clinical outcome," added co-author Mohamad Abdalkader, and assistant professor of radiology at BUSM and interventional neuroradiologist at BMC.

LVO often leads to ischemic strokes, which account for 87 percent of strokes in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


"Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that highlights the potential of balloon-guide catheters to improve stroke patient outcomes," said Alicia Castonguay, an assistant professor in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences at The University of Toledo and study co-author.

"Future studies are necessary to fully understand the role of this technology in a larger patient population," Castonguay added.

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