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OHSU-Tested Stroke Therapy Has High Success Rate in Removing Clots From the Brain

Today’s findings show that a tiny catheter, which acts like a mini vacuum cleaner, was successful in removing blood clots blocking arteries in the brains of stroke patients 82 percent of the time
Research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University and other sites around the globe demonstrates that a new stroke therapy is highly successful in removing blood clots blocking arteries in the brains of stroke patients. OHSU’s Oregon Stroke Center, along with 23 other institutions, were involved in clinical trials of the therapy known as the Penumbra system. The system was recently approved for patient use by the Food and Drug Administration and features a catheter that uses suction to grab and remove blood clots from vessels in the brain. Results of the research were presented today at the American Stroke Association meeting in New Orleans.

In all, 125 research subjects were treated with the Penumbra system in clinical trials around the world. OHSU’s Oregon Stroke Center treated the highest volume of subjects worldwide in caring for a total of 15 subjects.

In order to take part in the clinical trial, participants must have experienced ischemic strokes in which blood flow in the brain was blocked by a blood clot. Subjects involved in the trial needed to be available for treatment within eight hours of their stroke. The trial also focused on subjects who suffered moderate to large strokes.  

“When we looked at all the cases treated around the globe, we determined that the system was able to successfully remove blood clots 82 percent of the time. This is considered a very high rate of success,” explained Wayne Clark, M.D., director of the OHSU Oregon Stroke Center and a professor of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine.

“We now believe that additional research needs to be conducted to determine how successfully patients recover from stroke when they are treated with Penumbra. We also need to determine which patients are the best candidates to receive this treatment versus other available treatment options. We believe that these studies should involve larger groups of patients. This will help us determine when Penumbra is most effective and beneficial”     

The multi-center clinical trial was funded through Penumbra Inc.
About the Oregon Stroke Center at OHSU
The Oregon Stroke Center at OHSU is a national leader in acute stroke care and treatment. The center’s mobile stroke team provides novel stroke treatments to patients at multiple Portland-area hospitals. In addition to clinical care, the center is actively involved in clinical and basic research and provides extensive stroke related education to the public and providers.  Further information on stroke treatment or care is available though the stroke center at 503 494-7225.

About OHSU
Oregon Health & Science University is the state’s only health and research university and Oregon’s only academic health center. OHSU is Portland's largest employer and the fourth largest in Oregon (excluding government), with 12,400 employees. OHSU's size contributes to its ability to provide many services and community support activities not found anywhere else in the state. It serves patients from every corner of the state, and is a conduit for learning for more than 3,400 students and trainees. OHSU is the source of more than 200 community outreach programs that bring health and education services to every county in the state.  
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