Results of an international, randomized controlled research study show that mechanical thrombectomy, which is an endovascular treatment to remove a stroke-causing blood clot in the brain, is effective in some patients even when performed within 6 to 24 hours after a stroke.

The findings of the study were presented in late May at the European Stroke Organization Conference 2017 in Prague. Rush University Medical Center is the only Illinois site, one of seven sites in the U.S, and one of only 22 sites in the world to participate in the international study called the DAWN trial where severe stroke patients underwent a thrombectomy after the six hour time window.

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A sequential multiple assignment randomized (SMART) trial allows researchers to test two hypotheses at once.

The new trial method is being used in clinical trials across the industry.

“SMART trials allow you to get to two questions at once and can potentially be more efficient,” says William Meurer, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine and neurology at Michigan Medicine and a member of the Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care. “You may find answers you wouldn’t normally find using a normal trial design.”

Meurer is the lead author on a study published in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases that investigated if the trial design could be used specifically to study stroke treatment.

“In stroke, we are often treating the patient with a tissue plasminogen activator drug upfront to dissolve a blood clot in the brain,” Meurer says. “Sometimes, that blood clot doesn’t dissolve. What do you do next?”

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Men and women with the lowest education level had higher lifetime risks of cardiovascular disease than those with the highest education level, according to a new study published by JAMA Internal Medicine.

One of the most important socioeconomic factors contributing to cardiovascular disease (CVD) is educational inequality. Calculating the lifetime risk of CVD according to educational levels is one way to convey the importance of educational attainment.

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