Skull with stroke bleed

Stroke treatment rolled out thanks to research

Date: 19 April 2017

Mechanical thrombectomy is to be commissioned by NHS England, following a review of evidence from clinical trials. Approximately 8,000 patients a year will benefit from the procedure which enables doctors to remove blood clots from the brain.

NHS England made the announcement last week (week commencing 10 April), which will see the procedure rolled out across the country. It is currently only performed in a few specialist stroke centres in England.

PISTE and PEARS studies, both supported by the NIHR, informed this development in stroke treatment and its implementation into clinical practice.

PISTE confirmed the benefit and safety of thrombectomy in the NHS in England and was included in NHS England’s internal evidence review to inform the decision. PEARS produced the evidence that demonstrated that an estimated 8,000 patients will benefit from the procedure in coming years.

Professor Christine Roffe, NIHR National Lead for Hyperacute Stroke Research Centres in the UK, explains: “NIHR supported research has played an important role in the decision to commission this revolutionary treatment, which will have a significant impact on quality of life after a stroke.”

Studies like STABILISE are looking into the efficacy and safety of a new device for thrombectomy. The PISTEi study, which is due to commence recruiting later this year, will test different imaging strategies to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from thrombectomy.

Professor Roffe, also stroke medicine lead at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust where the procedure is already used 24/7, added: “However, research into use of the treatment doesn’t end here. We need to understand how best to perform the procedure, so we can maximise its use and patient benefits can continue to be realised.

“As for the clot busting treatment (thrombolysis) already in routine use in the UK for stroke treatment, time is brain. Now that we know that thrombectomy is effective, we need to find ways of ensuring the treatment is given as soon as possible after patients develop symptoms of stroke.”

This announcement by NHS England, as part of the ‘Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’, received coverage from ITV, The Independent and The Guardian.

  • Summary:
    Mechanical thrombectomy is to be commissioned by NHS England, followed a review of evidence from clinical trials. Approximately 8,000 patients a year will benefit from the procedure which enables doctors to remove blood clots from the brain.
  • Areas of the site this news is applicable to:
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  • Year of publication:
    2017
  • Specialty:
    Stroke
  • News filter:
    News

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