Brain imaging

Ischemic Stroke

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Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke occurring in 87% of patients.

An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery in the brain is blocked.

The blockage can occur when a blood clot or plaque fragment forms, usually in the heart or the large arteries leading to the brain and then moves through the arteries to the brain. A thrombotic stroke is a blood clot that forms inside an artery in the brain. The clot interrupts blood flow and causes a stroke.

What is an ischemic stroke?
Ischemic stroke | Source: America Stroke Association
Dr. Jason Tarpley discusses a new stroke treatment in this video clip with ABC News. Click image to play.

Dr. Jason Tarpley, Director, Stroke & Neurovascular Center treats patient with new stroke drug

Symptoms of Ischemic Stroke

Some signs of ischemic stroke include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

If you have any of these symptoms or see someone else having them, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Treatment of Ischemic Stroke

Fast treatment of ischemic stroke at the hospital can lead to better results. Treatment of ischemic stroke includes the administration of clot busting medication and if indicated the use of a stent retriever to remove the blood clot.

We use the most current and rapid evaluation techniques to deliver tissue plasminogen activator (tPA, also known as IV rtPA, administered through an IV in the arm) in patients having an ischemic stroke. tPA dissolves the blood clot allowing the blood to flow more freely to the affected part of the brain. As circumstances permit, we try to administer tPA within 3 hours (and up to 4.5 hours in certain eligible patients), which improves the chances of recovering from a stroke. A significant number of ischemic stroke patients are unable to get to a hospital in time for tPA treatment reducing the success rate of treatment.

Minimally-Invasive Ischemic Stroke Surgical Procedure

Carotid Artery Stent retriever

Our experts specialize in the use of an endovascular procedure called mechanical thrombectomy to treat ischemic stroke. For patients who are eligible for this procedure, our physicians remove the lodged blood clot obstructing the blood vessel in the brain using a wired cage-like device called a stent retriever. A catheter with the stent retriever attached to its end is threaded through an artery in the groin up to the blocked artery in the brain.

The wire meshing opens to surround the clot and the stent is removed along with the trapped clot. The procedure can be conducted after a patient receives tPA and should be done as soon as possible after stroke symptoms occur.

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