A blood clot in the brain can cause damage to the brain cells and even lead to death.
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is a blood clot in one of your brain’s larger veins that drains blood from the brain. When these veins are blocked, blood pressure in the brain increases which raises the risk of a hemorrhage in the brain, which can be catastrophic for patients.
Although CVST is rare and makes up just 1% of types of stroke, it’s a serious type of stroke and the rate appears to be increasing.
Existing CVST treatments are largely based on interventions that dissolve the blood clot which is a time-consuming process and fails in 20-40% of cases.
Now, researchers have developed a new approach that targets these clots faster and reduces the risk for patients
Developed by scientists at North Carolina State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology, the device is designed specifically for use on CVST clots. The device uses “vortex ultrasound”, a sort of ultrasonic tornado to break down blood clots in the brain.
While existing techniques use ultrasound to eliminate blood clots using what are essentially forward-facing waves, the new approach uses vortex waves meaning the ultrasound is swirling as it moves forward.