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2005: New Hope for Stroke Victims
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New Hope for Stroke Victims

New Device Enables Central DuPage Hospital Physician to Intervene and Minimize Stroke Damage

51-year-old female stroke patient is first to be treated in U.S. clinical trial

November 16, 2005 - Winfield, Ill.   Any other time or place, and the 51-year-old mother of three may not have been so fortunate.  On Saturday, October 22nd, she experienced classic stroke symptoms—couldn’t talk or move her right arm or hand—and was transferred from her local Emergency Room to Central DuPage Hospital (CDH), a regional stroke center for emergency treatment in Chicago’s western suburbs . Even though eight hours passed since the onset of her symptoms, a new device and procedure allowed a CDH physician to intervene in hopes of minimizing cerebral damage.  She is now out of the hospital and on the road to recovery. Without CDH's participation in the trial of this unique treatment, she would have had no other treatment options.

The Downers Grove, Ill. resident became the first patient in the U.S. to participate in a new national clinical trial of the CoAxiaTM NeuroFloTM Perfusion Augmentation technology, a device designed to minimize damage from an ischemic stroke and extend the time a stroke patient can be treated.  As intended, in this case, the NeuroFlo device restored blood flow to the area of the patient’s brain which was at risk for damage due to stroke.

The most common intervention for ischemic stroke is I.V. t-PA, a clot-dissolving medication.  Less than four percent of all ischemic stroke patients receive t-PA because it must be administered within three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.  In this study, the NeuroFlo procedure can be used up to 10 hours after the stroke.  As a result, many patients who might go untreated may have a new chance for treatment and a better chance of making a meaningful recovery.

Harish Shownkeen, MD, Director of Endovascular Surgical NeuroRadiology at CDH, along with multiple neurologists, is leading the hospital’s investigation of this new treatment. “This is a significant advancement in the study of emergency stroke treatment, and we are pleased to be the only participating hospital in the Chicago area.  If the trial is successful, the NeuroFlo therapy we administered here at Central DuPage Hospital will become an important new option that allows us to intervene during an acute stroke and potentially reverse or minimize damage to the brain’s tissue.  We are all encouraged by how well this patient is doing.”

The NeuroFlo device is a catheter-based device comprised of two balloons.  The catheter is inserted at the femoral artery, using high-definition intravascular x-ray imaging to guide the tiny device to the renal arteries.  From there, the interventional neuroradiologist inflates the NeuroFlo balloons to potentially redirect blood flow to the brain. By restoring blood flow to the brain quickly, it’s possible to prevent further tissue damage and allow cells in the stroke area to recover.

“Today, we are where cardiology was 15 or 20 years ago,” explains Dr. Shownkeen.  “We are turning the corner and there is new hope for stroke victims due to a variety of new trials found at several hospitals, including Central DuPage Hospital.”


Nine out of ten strokes are ischemic, resulting from blood clots that cut off the oxygen supply to brain tissue.  Immediate medical attention is required to prevent or minimize tissue damage. The most common intervention is a clot-dissolving agent, I.V. tPA (intravenous tissue plasminogen activator), approved by the FDA for stroke therapy in 1996.  The medication must be administered within three hours of the onset of ischemic stroke symptoms.  Less than four percent of stroke patients receive tPA treatment.  Of those who do receive the drug, only one of seven will benefit.

The FDA-controlled study of NeuroFlo will continue for approximately two years. The procedure performed was considered successful and the 51-year old female patient, treated approximately 8 hours after onset of her stroke, left the hospital within a week and is recovering at home.

About CDH Neuroscience Services

The Neuroscience Department of CDH is extensive, encompassing treatment for spinal conditions, brain tumors and injury, stroke, movement and memory disorders as well as specialized programs for treatment of sleep disorders and pain.  CDH was first in the region to develop a comprehensive program to treat stroke victims in the emergency room with t-PA. CDH has a dedicated patient care unit for neurological patients served by neurological-certified nurses and a bi-plane angiography suite with 3D angiogram capabilities specifically designed for interventional neuroradiology procedures. 

About CDH

Central DuPage Hospital is a nationally recognized 361-bed facility located in Winfield, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.  The hospital is a leading center for surgical innovations and was one of the first institutions in the nation to offer minimally invasive heart surgery, as well as a new procedure for back surgeries that uses bio-engineered bone protein. In 2005, Central DuPage Hospital was recognized for excellence in stroke specialty by HealthGrades, a leading provider of independent hospital ratings. Central DuPage Hospital is part of Central DuPage Health, a network including convenient care centers, occupational health services, and a full range of options for senior living, home health, and hospice care. For additional information, please visit www.cdh.org

CDH Public Relations
Mindy Kolof 847-317-0408
Anne Waliczek 847-909-0318