Published: Thursday 18 December 2014
MR CLEAN stands for Multicenter Randomized Clinical trial of Endovascular treatment for Acute ischemic stroke in the Netherlands.
MR CLEAN is a Dutch trial that investigated the treatment of a severe form of ischaemic stroke with:
- thrombolysis alone
- versus treatment with both thrombolysis and an additional intervention called thrombectomy.
On 18 December 2014, the researchers published the findings from MR CLEAN in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The results were positive and very encouraging. Among the patients that took part in the trial, more who received thrombectomy were returned to functional independence, from 1/5 to 1/3.
Dr Shamim Quadir, Research Communications Manager at the Stroke Association, said: Thrombolysis is the only proven treatment which can limit the damage caused by acute ischaemic stroke, the type of stroke caused by a blockage of an artery in the brain by a blood clot. However, it must be administered within 4.5 hours of stroke onset, and benefits around one in seven people treated.
“This latest research was conducted with patients who had a confirmed diagnosis of a ‘proximal intracranial occlusion,’ a type of ischaemic stroke associated with both poor thrombolysis treatment and outcome for patients.
“The study suggests that another treatment called thrombectomy can be used to help these patients when used within six hours of stroke onset, in addition to thrombolysis. Thrombectomy is where the blood clot causing the stroke is pulled out of the brain, typically using devices inserted into an artery called retrievable stents. This could help save more people from disability as a result of stroke.
“This is an extremely exciting field of stroke research. A number of different trials are currently investigating the potential for thrombectomy. Their results will help us find new and innovative ways to ensure more people make their best possible recovery from stroke.”