Stent retrievers make Cleveland Clinic’s top 10 medical innovations for 2016

As part of its annual Medical Innovation Summit, the Cleveland Clinic released its top 10 medical innovations for 2016. The list of the technologies that will have the biggest impact in healthcare included neurovascular stent retrievers, which are used after patients suffer an ischemic stroke.

Until the FDA-approval of stent retrievers in 2012, a tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) was the only option for removing the clot that occurs within a blood vessel following a stroke. The Cleveland Clinic noted that tPA is effective in fewer than one-third of patients when an occlusion forms in a major vessel.

In June, the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association updated its guidelines and added the use of stent retrievers in conjunction with tPA for first-line treatment in some patients with acute ischemic stroke. The stent retrievers are the Solitaire (Medtronic) or Trevo ProVue (Stryker).

In addition, a meta-analysis of five randomized controlled trials published in October found that patients receiving stent retrievers had no difference in the rates of symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage compared with those receiving standard treatment. The stent retriever group also had a trend towards decreased 90-day mortality.

“This is an important breakthrough in stroke treatment; in fact, the most important breakthrough since the NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) t-PA trial that established the use of IV thrombolysis for ischemic stroke 20 years ago,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions on Oct. 11. “It is anticipated to result in major changes in healthcare systems and accelerate the development of centers of excellence, such as comprehensive stroke centers, that will be preferentially able to accept and treat patients with the most severe ischemic strokes. Several current or planned studies may provide high-level evidence for the efficacy of endovascular treatment in different patient populations and subgroups, refinement of retrieving devices and selection criteria that may allow the time window to be extended even further.”

Here’s the Cleveland Clinic’s top 10 list:

1.     Vaccines to prevent public health epidemics

2.     Genomics-based clinical trials

3.     Gene editing using CRISPR

4.     Water purification systems for prevention of infection diseases

5.     Cell-free fetal DNA testing

6.     Cancer screening via protein biomarker analysis

7.     Naturally controlled artificial limbs

8.     First treatment for female hypoactive sexual desire disorder

9.     Frictionless remote monitoring

10.  Neurovascular stent retrievers