Using highly-detailed information derived from the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center’s advanced diagnostic capabilities, the multidisciplinary team of specialists in the Center works together to deliver the best treatment combination for each patient, including medical, interventional, and surgical therapies.
Medical and Endovascular Therapies
Center specialists often use intravenous and intra-arterial thrombolytic agents in the treatment of stroke. Medical treatment for stroke at the Center includes:
Intravenous thrombolysis with tPA
Intra-arterial thrombolysis with tPA and mechanical thrombolysis and clot retrieval
Identification and treatment of the underlying cause and associated risk factors as secondary prevention
The state-of-the-art interventional neuroradiology suite at Brigham and Women’s Hospital includes several procedure rooms within the OR complex dedicated to neuro-interventional procedures. The suite’s novel, flat plate angiographic scanner provides lower radiation exposure and high quality, three-dimensional images that guide endovascular specialists including Ali Aziz-Sultan, MD, Rose Du, MD, PhD, Kai U. Frerichs, MD, Nirav J. Patel, MD, FAANS, and Karen Chen, MD, enabling them to perform advanced therapeutic procedures more easily and safely. These procedures include:
Urgent revascularization of acute arterial occlusions
Angioplasty and stenting of occlusive vascular lesions in the carotid arteries and intracranial blood vessels and coil embolization of cerebral aneurysms
Coiling of intracranial aneurysms, including a new detachable coil that encourages scar tissue formation during aneurysm healing
Microcatheter injection to fill malformations and decrease the risk of dangerous bleeding in patients with intracranial vascular malformations, including AVMs.
Our dedicated team of cerebrovascular neurosurgeons provide a wide array of open and endovascular procedures aimed at treating the causes of acute strokes due to aneurysm and arteriovenous malformation (AVM) rupture and management of brain swelling after stroke, as well as advanced procedures for stroke prevention. These surgical procedures include:
Simple and complex intracranial bypass procedures
Craniectomy and hemispheric decompression for stroke patients with a large area of brain affected
Carotid endarterectomy, skull base approaches to aneurysm clipping, and AVM resection to prevent stroke or stroke recurrence while minimizing disturbance of normal brain tissue
Stereotactic radiosurgery to treat AVMs inaccessible by other means
Endovascular surgery to treat intracranial aneurysms, AVMs, and extracranial and intracranial obstructions (angioplasty, stenting)
Intraoperative arteriography is used during many surgical procedures to confirm success before closure.
Medical Director Galen V. Henderson, MD leads the dedicated, 20-bed Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The Neuroscience ICU includes:
Neurologists, neurosurgeons, and other specialists working as a team to provide care for patients with acute neurological conditions, such as ischemic stroke, subarachnoid and intracerebral hemorrhage, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myasthenia gravis, status epilepticus, and encephalitis
State-of-the-art equipment, including onsite CT imaging and intracranial monitoring
New intracranial tissue oxygenation monitors and microdialysis catheters to measure real-time cerebral biochemistry.
Highly trained, specialized neuroscience nurses that carefully monitor patient's recovery