Recent randomized controlled studies continue to debunk the perceived benefits of mechanical clot retrieval over FDA approved intravenous thrombolysis with tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) for the treatment of acute stroke.
Intravenous tPA is much more widely available than the costlier mechanical clot retrieval systems.
We recently posted a study that showed both treatments were equally effective for acute stroke treatment.
Another study showed that outcomes were the same for patients who received intravenous thrombolysis alone compared to those patients who received iv tPA and were then transferred to a “stroke rescue” center for mechanical clot retrieval (so called “drip and ship”).
In other words, most stroke patients can be effectively treated at primary stroke centers.
If you think you are having a stroke, call 911 and get yourself to the nearest hospital,
Mechanical clot retrieval may still be an option for stroke patients who have an occluded artery, but cannot receive tPA because they are on blood thinners, have had recent surgeries, or are seen more than 4.5 hours since stroke onset.