Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Quick MRI might help stroke patients fare better

Makes good sense - better timely information can help make better decisions. Here's an article about a recent study that shows quick MRI helps cut down on unnecessary interventions, and patients fare better:
Rapidly administering an MRI scan of the brain to patients who have had a stroke reduces by half the number of minimally invasive endovascular procedures they receive, procedures that are not always effective and can sometimes be harmful, according to a study published Thursday by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic.
Photo from the
National Institutes of Health
Endovascular procedures to treat stroke, which involve delivering medication or removing clots via catheter, are commonly used to help restore blood flow to the brain when IV clot-busting drugs fail. While they can be helpful for some patients, the procedures also carry risks — including possible further damage to blood vessels and exposure to anesthesia — and have failed to show a benefit to patients in several large trials. ...
Most stroke patients are evaluated for endovascular procedures with a CT scan, he said, which can show bleeding in the brain “but unfortunately really isn’t able to tell you if there’s any damage to the brain due to a blocked blood vessel.”
Strokes are serious, can be deadly and often leave longtime issues. The right treatment - guided by good information - might change that balance.

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