BEACON TRANSCRIPT – A new clinical trial shows promising results in treating hemorrhagic strokes using a clot-busting drug. The clot drug was employed to treat hemorrhagic strokes, thus reducing the risk of death by nearly 10 percent. Phase III of the study proved that patients treated with the clot-busting drug are more likely to live on their own than those treated with a saline solution.
A group of medical researcher, engaged in an ample and lengthy clinical trial, has just announced the results of the third phase of the international clinical trial. The project was conducted at Johns Hopkins Hospital. According to the summary of the text, a drug mainly used to treat cardiac clots, can be employed to treat patients who experienced brain strokes, a condition known to cause swelling and brain bleeding.
The study and its results were presented on the 18th of February during the Internal Stroke Conference, which took place in Los Angeles. According to their conclusion, a patient has high chances of returning home after 180 days, if his or hers condition is treated using either the clot-busting drug or a saline solution.
Furthermore, the medical examiners have discovered that flushing the excess blood from the brain using either of the two solutions can greatly increase the patient’s chances of survival. According to their initial projections, approximately 50 percent of patients treating using the methods listed above will survive and return home.
Daniel Hanley Jr., the director of the Brain Injury Outcome Program declared in a press interview that the clot-busting drug also known as tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) can save one in ten live if applied after the patient is hemodynamically stable, meaning that the doctors can use this drug only if they were successful in stopping the bleeding occurring in the brain.
The clot drug employed to treat hemorrhagic strokes showed promising results in the case of hemodynamically stable patients.
The clinical trial involving the use of cardiac clot busters in treating hemorrhagic brain strokes began in 2000. Hanley and his team of scientists constructed their premises on the brick foundation laid out in the 90s by the former director of Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine, by the name of Myron Weisfeldt. Doctor Weisfeldt was one the first physicians to study the effects of the wonder-drug called tPA.
In order to see if the drug is indeed capable of increasing the odds of surviving a hemorrhagic brain stroke, the team of medical researchers enlisted the help of approximately 500 patients from 73 research center. All the patients were of white, Latino and African-American descent and each of them suffered a hemorrhagic stroke sometime before the study.
Hanley and his team were certain that tPA has the potential of increasing the patient’s chances of survival by dissolving the blood clots found in the brain and clearing out the excess blood found in the ventricles.
The actual testing procedure of the drug meant that Hanley must have chosen a study group that fulfilled certain requirements. The first condition implied that all patients enrolled in the study were hemodynamically stable. Second, the clot must have been stable, meaning that if it grew or changed shape, the patients was no longer eligible to participate in the clinical study.
After choosing their study group, the team focused on treated a specific aspect of the event. According to Hanley, his team targeted those individual showing small inner brain bleedings, followed by a larger intraventricular bleeding. All the blood clots which were meant to be treated using either of the two solutions were roughly the size of a ping-pong ball.
After selection, each patient randomly received either saline or the tPA drug. But before the solutions could be employed, the doctors gave the group blood pressure stabilizers. Moreover, the patients also received a brain catheter, a medical device used to transport drugs to a specific portion of the brain. The catheter was either used to pump out the excess blood using either one milligram of tPA or a saline-based solution.
The standardized treatment included 12 doses of tPA or saline, which were administered at an 8-hour interval. They also received a rigorous follow-up exam, accompanied by a CT scan, at the end of the 30th and 180th day.
According to their results, approximately 249 of patients who received saline had a 29% death rate, while those treated with tPA experienced a 19 percent death rate. Moreover, the results also proved that patients treated with the clot-busting drug had 49 percent fewer chances of experiencing side effects or to become infected with a deadly bacteria.