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​Advanced and Investigational Stroke Therapies

Medical Treatments

Neurologists and neurosurgeons at UPMC are among the national leaders in stroke therapy.

That's why the UPMC Stroke Institute can offer patients advanced or investigational stroke therapies not typically available at other stroke treatment centers.

  • Intra-arterial thrombolytic treatment uses a long tube threaded through a blood vessel and into the brain to deliver clot-dissolving drugs, such as tPA, to the site of a blood clot causing a stroke. Because this method delivers a relatively high dose directly to the clot, it may be more effective and cause fewer side effects than delivering these medications to the whole body.
  • Neural implantation for stroke, an investigational therapy first performed at UPMC, uses minimally invasive surgery to place engineered nerve cells in stroke-damaged areas of the brain. UPMC studies of neural implantation have provided the first preliminary evidence that implanted cells can grow and take the place of nerve cells killed by a stroke.

Learn more about UPMC Stroke Institute research.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery may be performed following a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) to prevent a recurrence.

Surgical techniques:

  • Consultation with a neurosurgeon may be needed if there are blocked blood vessels, extreme swelling of the brain tissue, or bleeding into the brain.  Neurosurgeons concentrate on surgically bypassing and opening blocked vessels threatening the brain, as well as controlling bleeding and swelling in some types of hemorrhagic strokes.
  • Carotid endarterectomy removes fatty deposits from a carotid artery, a major artery in the neck that leads to the brain.
  • Extracranial/intracranial bypass reroutes the blood supply around a blocked artery using a healthy scalp artery.

Find a Research Study

The UPMC Stroke Institute actively participates in local, national, and international research with the goal of improving patient outcomes.

To learn more about our active research trials, visit the University of Pittsburgh's Office of Clinical Research Health Sciences site and search "stroke".

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