Sound-wave powered clot busters safe for draining bleeding in brain

Dissolving clot-causing strokes with ultrasound can safely drain bleeding in the brain, according to a new study. Researchers tested the safety and efficacy of combining the use of ultrasound with clotbusters delivered precisely into bleeding areas during an intraventricular (IVH) bleed (bleeding inside fluid-filled spaces of the brain) and intracerebral (ICH) bleed (bleeding in brain tissue).

Nine ICH and IVH patients (average age 63) underwent treatment with the clot-busting drug tPA in conjunction with 24 hours of continuous ultrasound applied at the end of the probe placed directly in the blood clot. The liquefied blood clots were drained through a tube.

All nine patients had significant reductions in bleeding. Twenty-four hours after treatment, volume was reduced an average 59 percent for ICM patients and 45 percent in IVH patients. There were no significant instances of re-bleeding. Functional outcomes improved in seven of the nine patients at 30 days. One patient died. Compared to previous studies that did not use ultrasound with tPA, blood clots appeared to resolve faster in this study.  Sign up for this free publication. Stroke Connection Magazine