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Breakthrough Coil Stops Brain Bleeds

Published: Tue 29 Oct 2002 02:02 PM
Breakthrough Coil Stops Brain Bleeds - Providing Platinum Lifeline For Thousands
SYDNEY, Oct. 29 /MediaNet International-AsiaNet/ --
A minimally invasive tiny platinum coil is set to revolutionise the treatment of thousands of Australians stuck down by stroke caused by a ruptured brain aneurysm, following the results of major global trial involving Australian patients.
“This compelling data represents a turning point in how Australian doctors will treat thousands of patients who suffer from a ruptured brain aneurysm, the deadliest form of stroke,” said Professor Michael Morgan, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgeon, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney.
“Until recently, we relied on invasive brain surgery and placing a surgical clip at the neck of the anuerysm as the only form of effective treatment to prevent brain aneursyms re-bleeding.
“Now, endovascular coiling has become an important alternative treatment. With the results of this trial it is now clear that 50 per cent of all patients with ruptured aneurysms are best considered for treatment by endovascular coiling,” he said.
According to Professor Morgan, “The GDC™ coiling technology – which is inserted via a catheter into the main artery in the patient’s leg – travels directly to the brain where it locates the aneurysm and deploys a protective web that fills the damaged region with a stream of tiny platinum coil – creating a barrier that stops arterial blood escaping into the brain and preventing a full haemorrhagic stroke.”
In Australia it is estimated that as many as 500,000 people will develop a brain aneurysm during their lifetime. Every year more than 2,400 people suffer from ruptured brain aneurysms. Ten to 15 percent of these patients will die before reaching the hospital. More than 50 percent will die within the first 30 days after rupture. Of those who survive, approximately half will suffer permanent neurological deficit *1. The results of the landmark global study – International Subarachnoid Aneurysm Trial (ISAT) – published in The Lancet revealed that the risk of death or significant disability at one year for patients treated with platinum coils was 23 per cent percent lower than patients treated with traditional surgery– an absolute risk reduction of seven percent *2. According to Associate Professor Mark Khangure, Royal Perth Hospital, lead investigator of the Australian arm of the trial, “The data was so convincing, the trial was stopped early for ethical reasons due to the significant reduction in death and disability of trial patients treated with coil technology compared to those undergoing conventional micro-surgery.
“The study confirms that endovascular therapy significantly reduces the risk of brain damage when compared with traditional craniotomy procedures.
“Endovascular procedures undertaken at Royal Perth Hospital have seen patients recovery faster, have shorter hospital stays and return to normal daily work routines much earlier,” he added.
GDC™ endovascular coiling technology is available in 11 major medical centres in Australia, however only one-in-seven patients with a ruptured brain aneurysm currently receive endovascular coiling treatment.
Professor Morgan stressed it is imperative that appropriate patients with a brain haemorrhage should be transferred early to hospitals that provide endovascular coiling. “The average time between haemorrhage and treatment was one day in this major study,” he said.
“Ultimately, this innovative technology allows many lives to be saved and the disability and loss of mobility that results from haemorrhagic stroke significantly reduced in the first 12 months after treatment,” claimed Professor Khangure.
Target, a division of Boston Scientific is a leading developer of less-invasive medical technologies for endovascular neurosurgery and interventional neuroradiology. It manufactures coils, guidewires and catheters used to treat brain aneurysms. All of the endovascular patients in the study with one-year follow-up were treated using Target's GDCTM coil. Further information on the GDCTM coil is available on the Boston Scientific website at www.bostonscientific.com
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