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Thrombectomy reduces disability and mortality in large strokes, study finds



Mechanical thrombectomy (MT) is highly effective at preventing disability and death following large ischemic strokes, a new study has found.

MT is the technique of removing a blood clot from the artery through a catheter.

The research, published in The Lancet, found that the treatment was effective even an extended period after the stroke occurred.

The TENSION study was an investigator-initiated, randomised controlled trial conducted at 40 centres across Europe and Canada.

The research was funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 Programme.

The 665 participants had suffered moderate to severe strokes and occlusions in two critical arteries of the brain.

To be eligible, the participants had to have been treated within 12 hours of the onset of symptoms or the last time the patient was seen to be well by a physician.

A large infarction also had to be visible on non-contrast computed tomography (NCCT) or MRI.

Patients were randomly assigned to receive either the best available medical treatment alone or MT in combination with the best available treatment.

The main aim of the study was to assess functional outcome after 90 days.

The researchers also measured quality of life scores and the incidence of symptomatic bleeding in the brain.

The researchers reported that MT was successful at restoring blood flow to the brain in 83 per cent of cases.

Meanwhile, 31 per cent of the MT group achieved an improved Modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score compared to 13 per cent in the control group.

The MT patients also reported significant improvements to their quality of life.

Mortality was also lower at 90 days in the MT group (40 per cent) compared to the control group (51 per cent).

The TENSION study concluded that MT is both safe and highly effective at improving functional outcomes and reducing mortality and disability in these patients.

Previous UK research found that 49 per cent of patients who received MT had a good outcome compared to those who didn’t.

The treatment has also been found to be at least as safe as other treatments, causing no greater risk of death, bleeding or secondary stroke compared to other types of treatment.