Stroke :: Rapid drug treatment prompts Lazarus response in some stroke patients

A quarter of patients given clot-busting drugs directly into a blood clot in an artery within six hours of stroke experienced such a rapid recovery ? major improvement within a day after stroke ? that it was called an example of ?Lazarus Phenomenon,? researchers reported at the American Stroke Association?s International Stroke Conference 2007.

How fast ischemic stroke patients received ?intra-arterial? clot-busting drugs and how much blood flow was restored to the brain area were significant contributing factors in who was likely to exhibit the phenomenon, said study lead author Gregory A. Christoforidis, M.D.

The Lazarus Phenomenon owes its name to Lazarus, who, according to the New Testament part of the Bible was raised from the dead by Jesus Christ. Here, the term refers to a treatment that has prompted an unexpected and significant improvement in a patient.

?The point of this study was to identify factors which make a difference in the Lazarus Phenomenon,? said Christoforidis, an associate professor of Radiology at Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. ?The surprising thing was that the time to treatment had such a significant impact, whereas, other factors ? such as age, gender, blood sugar and blood pressure ? did not.?


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