Scans May Predicts if Stroke Patients Benefit from Clot Treatment

    Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed a technique that can predict — with 95 percent accuracy — which stroke victims will benefit from intravenous, clot-busting drugs and which will suffer dangerous and potentially lethal bleeding in the brain.

    Reporting online May 15 in the journal Stroke, the Johns Hopkins team says these predictions were made possible by applying a new method they developed that uses standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to measures damage to the blood-brain barrier that protects the brain from drug exposure.

    If further tests confirm their method’s accuracy, it could form the basis of expanded and more precise use of intravenous tPA, a drug that is currently limited to patients who are within 4.5 hours of a stroke onset, in order to have the best chance of dissolving the blood clot causing the stroke without risking additional damage.

    If doctors had a safe, reliable tool to determine which patients could still be safely treated outside that window, more patients could be helped, the researchers say.

    (Continues on next page...)

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