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 June 15, 2003
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Drug Breaks up Clots
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SEOUL, South Korea (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Researchers have identified a drug that can break up secondary clots, or clots that reappear in patients who have already been treated with clot-busting drugs.

Researchers from Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, studied 18 patients who received treatment for a stroke caused by blood clots or other blockages of the arteries leading to the brain. In four of the patients, blood clots formed again within 20 minutes after the arteries were clear. Investigators measured the arteries of the patients after therapy was given. The arteries of the four patients who had the secondary blood clots were significantly narrower, on average, than the arteries of the people who did not develop secondary blood clots. The four patients' arteries were more than 50-percent obstructed.

Those four patients were given the drug abciximab, a blood-thinner that prevents blood particles, known as platelets, from clumping or forming clots. Results of the study show abciximab broke up the clots in all four patients. Three patients showed significant improvements in symptoms resulting from the stroke. Lead author and neurologist Ji Hoe Heo, M.D., Ph.D., from Yonsei University, says: "Two had no symptoms and one had minor symptoms that did not interfere with his lifestyle. All three fully regained their previous activities and jobs." One patient had a small hemorrhage, but still made slight improvements.

Dr. Heo says it's too early to say abciximab is entirely safe for stroke patients because the number of patients in the study was small.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: http://www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert/.

SOURCE: Neurology, 2003;60:1684-1687

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