UNC Health Care offers new treatment for stroke

UNC Hospitals is the first medical center in the Triangle to offer treatment for stroke patients with a new device that mechanically removes blood clots from blocked vessels in the brain.

UNC Health Care offers new treatment for stroke click to enlarge The Solitaire FR device is used to remove blood clots from blocked vessels in the brain.
UNC Health Care offers new treatment for stroke click to enlarge Sten Y. Solander, MD

Media contact: Tom Hughes, 919-966-6047, tahughes@unch.unc.edu

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. –  The University of North Carolina Hospitals are the first in the Triangle and among the first nationwide to offer treatment for stroke with a new device recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The Solitaire FR revascularization device is intended to restore blood flow to the brain in patients suffering acute ischemic stroke by mechanically removing blood clots from blocked vessels.

“The Solitaire device is a great addition to the toolkit we have available for stroke treatment,” said Dr. Sten Solander, Chief of Interventional Neuroradiology at UNC Hospitals. “Recent studies have demonstrated better results using the Solitaire device compared to earlier devices.”

"This new device heralds a new era in acute stroke care," said Dr. Jeffrey L. Saver, principal investigator in the SWIFT study, a clinical trial of the Solitaire FR device. "We are going from our first generation of clot-removing procedures, which were only moderately good in reopening target arteries, to now having a highly effective tool. This really is a game-changing result."

Stroke is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. Ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot. According to the American Heart Association, stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of long-term disability.

“This is good news for the approximately 700,000 people each year in the U.S. who suffer an acute ischemic stroke,” said Stacy Enxing Seng, President, Vascular Therapies, Covidien. “Solitaire FR provides physicians with another important tool for treating this potentially fatal and often debilitating condition.”

The Solitaire FR device received CE Mark approval in Europe and has been commercialized internationally by Covidien since November 2009. The Solitaire FR device became available in the U.S. in April 2012.

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