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UW Team Creates "One-Stop-Shop" for Stroke Treatment

Posted on Oct 13, 2015

A team led by primary investigator Guang-Hong Chen, Ph.D., has received a Quantum Grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) (external link). The $3M grant was awarded for a project that will drastically reduce the treatment time for ischemic stroke victims by combining the diagnostic and therapeutic phases of treatment. According to Department Chair Thomas Grist, M.D., FACR, "This is a wonderful interdisciplinary effort that will have a big impact on the treatment of stroke."

With the current clinical workflow (see accompanying image), ischemic stroke victims can lose up to two hours in transportation and waiting time once they've arrived at the hospital. Diagnostic imaging must occur in either CT or MRI suites, while treatment is carried out via angiography. However, techniques recently developed by UW-Madison researchers may allow for "one-stop-shop imaging," placing the entire treatment process in the angiography suite.

Graphic courtesy of Dr. Chen.

Merging the phases is only possible through the use of a brand new CT technology called SMART-RECON, which improves temporal resolution and reduces radiation dose by a factor of five. As a result, physicians are able to obtain all the data necessary and begin endovascular treatment, without ever transporting the patient. This new treatment plan is expected to improve patient outcomes, as stroke victims lose 2 million neurons per minute until blood flow to the brain is restored.

A synergistic group effort within the Department of Radiology has been the key to developing these techniques, according to Dr. Chen. The clinical lead investigators on the project, in addition to Dr. Chen, are Charles Strother, Ph.D., and Beverly Aagaard Kienitz, M.D., and co-investigators include Ke Li, Ph.D., Howard Rowley, M.D., Patrick Turski, M.D., FACR, and Vivek Prabhakaran, M.D., Ph.D.

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Last updated: 1/17/2018
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