Early detection, surgery shorten recovery time for stroke victims

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Time and surgery are of the essence when it comes to stroke treatment. A study published in the Sept. 27 issue of JAMA found that earlier treatment with endovascular thrombectomy plus medical therapy was associated with less disability after three months.

In an analysis that included nearly 1,300 patients with large-vessel ischemic stroke, researchers at the University of Calgary, Canada, found that the use of micro-catheters or other devices to remove large vessel blockages were associated with lower degrees of disability.

Treatment was most successful when the time from symptom onset to arterial puncture for thrombectomy was less than two hours. Intervention was insignificant after 7.3 hours.

In addition to providing evidence of successful treatment methods, the study emphasizes the importance of early recognition of symptoms within the general populous. Noting stroke symptoms earlier by patients, out-of-hospital caretakers and/or in-hospital management note stroke symptoms can lead to quicker intervention.

"The results of this study reinforce guideline recommendations to pursue endovascular treatment when arterial puncture can be initiated within six hours of symptom onset, and provide evidence that potentially supports strengthening of recommendations for treatment from six through 7.3 hours after symptom onset,” the researchers said in a statement.