June 18, 2013, Brooklyn, NY… Lutheran Medical Center's (LMC) stroke team was the first in the eastern U.S. (and only the second in the world) to use a new advanced stroke treatment tool to restore blood flow to the brain in a patient with an ischemic stroke on June 5, 2013.
On May 25, 2013, a 75-year-old patient was rushed to LMC's Trauma Center with multiple fractures, a broken spine and brain bleeding after a head-on automobile collision. Emergency treatment by the ED, trauma and neurosurgical teams stabilized his injuries. While awaiting discharge to rehabilitation on June 5, he suffered a devastating ischemic stroke. Due to the nature of his previous injury he was not a candidate for intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (TPA). "At this point millions of brain cells were dying every minute," says Jeffrey Farkas, M.D., director of interventional neuroradiology at Lutheran Medical Center. "Seconds count and having the right team and tools at a moment's notice can make the difference between life and death."
Within minutes, the Stroke Interventional Team brought the patient to the NeuroInterventional Biplane Catheterization Lab where, under local anesthesia, a tiny plastic tube called the 5MAX™ ACE Reperfusion Catheter was inserted into a blood vessel in the groin region and threaded up into the brain artery where the blockage was located. Once at the clot, suction was applied and within a minute the clot was aspirated successfully.
The 5MAX™ ACE is the newest and largest clot aspiration catheter. The increased suction power and flexibility allows for less difficulty navigating the device into the brain and increased speed and efficiency in removing a clot. Dr. Nazli Janjua, an interventional neurologist that worked with Dr. Farkas on the patient, stated: "The patient made a complete recovery on the angiography table. In fact, an MRI after the procedure failed to show even slight damage."
Lutheran is serving as a principle site for a therapy trial investigating the effectiveness of interventional stroke treatments compared to intravenous TPA. "With the older stroke devices the ability to reopen vessels is sometimes limited," said Dr. Farkas. "At times the procedure can take several hours and until the blood flow is restored, damage continues."
"The success of these catheter based treatments is highly dependent on how fast and how completely the blood vessel is opened," said Salman Azhar, M.D., chair of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine. "Having the team led by Dr. Farkas and the new technology gave this patient the best shot at a complete neurological recovery."
Dr. Farkas and Dr. Janjua have participated in many interventional trials similar to this one to assess and develop new devices in the battle to conquer stroke and brain vascular disease but he says that this one is revolutionary. "In my opinion the device is exemplary, and this new method will be a significant game changer for interventional stroke treatment," added Dr. Farkas.
Dr. Farkas trained at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is a senior member of the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery and is board certified in radiology. With more than 15 years experience dedicated to interventional neuroradiology, he is one of the most experienced neurointerventional surgeons/interventional neuroradiologists in the Northeast.
Dr. Janjua is an interventional neurologist board certified in neurology and critical care neurology. She has published a number of articles on the effectiveness of catheter based stroke treatments for stroke.
Call the LMC Stroke Center at 718-630-7316 for more information or to make an appointment.