What is stroke?
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted, reduced or cut off. Within minutes of a stroke, brain cells begin to die and cause the person to experience sudden symptoms, including numbness/tingling, vision changes, trouble speaking and/or confusion. A stroke is a medical emergency, and prompt treatment is critical. If acted upon early, brain damage can be minimized.
There are three major types of stroke: ischemic, hemorrhagic, and transient ischemic attack (TIA).
⦁ Ischemic: The most common type, an ischemic stroke, occurs when the flow of blood is blocked by a clot or other obstruction.
⦁ Hemorrhagic: When a blood vessel in the brain bursts, it disrupts blood flow and results in a hemorrhagic stroke. These can be caused by severe high blood pressure or the bursting of an aneurysm (ballooning of the artery wall).
⦁ Transient ischemic attack: A TIA, also known as a mini-stroke, occurs when a person only experiences stroke symptoms for a short period of time, with the symptoms disappearing within a day. TIAs may be a sign of future stroke and should be brought to your health care provider’s attention.Treatment
Catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy
Intervention Radiologist use catheter-directed thrombolytic therapy to restore blood flow to the part of the brain that is not receiving blood due to blockage caused by a blood clot. Through a tiny incision in the skin to access the femoral artery and through the use of live, x-ray -guided imagery, the interventional radiologist directs a catheter (a thin plastic tube) through the body’s blood vessels to the clot located in the brain. Once at the clot, the physician removes the clot , in a targeted manner, restoring the opening of the blood vessel.
Endovascular coil treatment
For aneurysms that can lead to hemorrhagic stroke, interventional radiologists can perform a treatment called endovascular coil treatment (ECT). Preparation for ECT involves finding the aneurysm and determining characteristics such as its position, shape, and size. Tests or scans used during this preparation process include CT, MRI, and angiogram. With this information in-hand, interventional radiologists make a tiny incision in the skin to place a catheter in a large blood vessel in the groin. They then guide the catheter to the aneurysm and place a coil at the site of the aneurysm. For bigger aneurysms, multiple coils may be used. These coils induce clotting of the aneurysm, which will decrease the likelihood of the aneurysm bursting and causing a stroke.