Treatments

Treatments

The type of stroke treatment you receive depends on the type of stroke you have.

Treatment of ischemic stroke

Thrombolytics
Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is an enzyme found naturally in the body that converts or activates plasminogen into another enzyme to dissolve a clot. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, tPA was the first acute treatment for ischemic stroke.

However, tPA is not appropriate for all patients, and is only appropriate for ischemic stroke. The most common complication associated with tPA is brain hemorrhage. However, studies have shown that tPA does not increase the death rate of stroke patients when compared with the placebo.

Mechanical thrombectomy system
Mechanical thrombectomy allows for safe reopening of blocked vessels after an ischemic stroke in some patients. These devices help restore brain blood flow by removing blood clots in the brain, but are not appropriate for all patients.

Treatment of hemorrhagic stroke

Aneurysm clipping
As an aneurysm grows, the artery wall becomes thinner and weaker. It can eventually leak or rupture, releasing blood into the spaces around the brain. This is called a subarachnoid hemorrhage.

To stop or prevent an aneurysm from bleeding, a neurosurgeon can perform a procedure called aneurysm clipping, in which a tiny clip is placed across the neck of the aneurysm.

Aneurysm coiling
Endovascular therapy is a minimally invasive procedure that accesses the treatment area from within the blood vessel. In the case of aneurysms, this treatment is called coil embolization, or “coiling.”

In contrast to surgery, endovascular coiling does not require open surgery. Instead, physicians use real-time X-ray technology, called fluoroscopic imaging, to visualize the patient’s vascular system and treat the disease from inside the blood vessel.

A catheter (small plastic tube) is inserted into the femoral artery of the patient’s leg and is navigated through the vascular system into the head and into the aneurysm. Tiny platinum coils are threaded through the catheter and deployed into the aneurysm.

The coils block blood flow into the aneurysm, preventing rupture. The coils are made of platinum so that they can be visible via X-ray and be flexible enough to conform to the aneurysm shape.

Coiling is not recommended for all patients. Your healthcare provider will discuss the treatment options with you.