Stroke patients treated with ultrasound therapy in addition to medication show an improved clinical recovery compared to patients only treated with medication, according to a new study.
Researchers examined 126 patients who suffered acute ischemic stroke due to a blockage in the middle cerebral artery. All the patients were treated with tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) within three hours of symptom onset. 63 patients were randomly assigned to receive continuous ultrasound therapy (2-MHz transcranial Doppler ultrasonography) in addition to the medication. The other 63 patients received a placebo.
Results showed 49 percent of those treated with ultrasound therapy combined with t-PA administration within two hours showed dramatic clinical recovery, compared to a 30-percent recovery in the group who only received t-PA. At three months, 42 percent of the group who received ultrasound had favorable outcomes, compared to 29 percent of the placebo group.
Thus researchers conclude that continuous transcranial Doppler ultrasonography can enhance the effects of t-PA in acute ischemic stroke.