Capital Health Neurosurgeon Treats First Patient Using New, Experimental Stroke Device

Only Hospital in Southern/Central New Jersey and Philadelphia Participating in Study


Trenton, NJ (October 5, 2010) - Capital Health’s Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of NJ recently became the first hospital in Southern/Central New Jersey and the Philadelphia region to treat a patient using a new, experimental stroke device designed to remove blood clots preventing blood from flowing to the brain. Dr. Erol Veznedaroglu, director of Neurosciences and Cerebrovascular & Endovascular Neurosurgery at Capital Health used the device as part of the SWIFT study (Solitaire™ FR with the Intention for Thrombectomy). Capital Health is one of only ten hospitals in the country to have treated a patient as part of the study.

“Every year hundreds of thousands are impacted by stroke,” said Dr. Veznedaroglu. “As a regional center that receives hundreds of patients every year for advanced care of the brain, it is essential that we stay engaged in research that will continue to move care forward. This study allows us to look at another potential option for the removal of clots in the brain that can possibly save critical brain tissue that might be lost if blood supply is not restored.”

The new device, the Solitaire ™ FR Revascularization Device, is an investigational device in the United States which is currently approved for use in Europe. The study compares the Solitaire device with MERCI®, a device already approved for the removal of clots.

Patients impacted by ischemic stroke, where a clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain, are able to be treated initially by IV tPA, a clot busting drug, if it is administered in a relatively short window of three hours after symptoms begin. After that window, patients may be a candidate for intra-arterial thrombolysis.

A mechanical thrombectomy is a minimally invasive procedure performed to attempt removal of the clot. It is done endovascularly through a small incision in the groin. Following the incision, a guidewire and microcatheter are navigated through the femoral artery into the blood vessel containing the clot. At that point a device is deployed to entrap the clot and remove it from the body.

At Capital Health the procedure is performed by one of our dual-trained neurosurgeons who are skilled in performing both endovascular and traditional neurosurgical procedures for a wide range of complex conditions involving the brain. This includes advanced treatments for stroke, aneurysm, arteriovenous malformations, and intracranial atherosclerosis. They also treat tumors of both the brain and spine.

Dr. Veznedaroglu and Dr. Kenneth Liebman, director, Neurosurgical Critical Care are principal investigators on the study. Coordinating the study’s implementation at Capital Health is Kristen Smith clinical research coordinator for Neurosciences.

Capital Health Regional Medical Center is a state designated Comprehensive Stroke Center, which establishes the hospital as a leader in providing advanced care for patients suffering from stroke. Capital Health Mercer is a state designated primary stroke center. Capital Health’s two hospitals have also received certification from The Joint Commission -- the gold standard for stroke care.

Early last year, Capital Health announced the opening of the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center of New Jersey at Capital Health, which gave the hospital an even greater ability to treat the most critical cerebrovascular patients utilizing the most advanced technologies and treatments. More than 20 team members joined the Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center from Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, including Dr. Veznedaroglu and Dr. Liebman, as part of an experienced team committed to the care of the most complex stroke and cerebrovascular cases.

Back to top