The stroke treatment varies depending on the type of stroke that a person suffered. Once someone is identified by emergency personnel as a person who had a stroke, a doctor will first confirm whether the stroke is an ischemic stroke or hemorrhagic stroke. It is important to know since the early treatment of both is different.
Treatment for Ischemic Stroke
The goal of Ischemic stroke treatment is to dissolve and remove a blood clot that blocks the blood flow to the brain. The most common treatments for ischemic stroke include:
- Intravenous TPA
Intravenous TPA is the first line of treatment for ischemic stroke. Tissue Plasminogen Activator (TPA) is injected into the bloodstream through an intravenous line. TPA travel in the blood until it reaches the clot causing a stroke. Once there, it began to break down the blood clots until blood can flow pass toward it to the brain.
- Intra-Arterial Thrombolysis
This treatment for ischemic stroke depends on the location of stroke in the brain. It can be given up to 6 hours after onset of symptoms, consists of the TPA injection, or a similar agent, directly to the clot-induced stroke.
- Merci Retriever
Merci retriever is a recently developed approach to remove or break up blood clots that had wandered in the small blood vessels.
Treatment for Hemorrhagic Stroke
The goal of Hemorrhagic stroke treatment is to stop the bleeding and remove blood that might result in swelling and increased pressure inside the brain.
Here are the two common causes of hemorrhagic strokes and their treatment:
- Aneurysms: Aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge in an artery caused by weakening of the artery wall. Aneurysms usually rupture because of high blood pressure (hypertension). Ruptured aneurysms require brain surgery to repair the blood vessels damage.
- Abnormal Brain Blood Vessels: Examples of these include Arteriovenous malformations (AVM) and cavernous malformations. Typically these are an abnormal connection between blood vessels that causes them to bleed in the brain. When these happen, surgery is needed to remove the abnormal blood vessels.