Advances in Stroke Care & Research

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Selected Advances in Stroke Care and Research from the UCLA Stroke Center


The MERCI Retriever 

The MERCI Retriever is a new device designed to remove blood clots from large vessels within the neurovasculature. Constructed of nitinol memory-wire, the Merci Retriever is delivered to the lesion location in its linear formation. Once deployed, the Retriever returns to its coiled shape to engage and retrieve the clot.

Guglielmi Detachable Coil (GDC) 
Guglielmi Detachable Coil (GDC) 

The MERCI Retriever is an alternative to tPA in the treatment of ischemic stroke. It has a 6 hour window for use, whereas systemic tPA has a 3 hour window. This device has been approved by the FDA.

First device therapy for acute ischemic stroke

  • MERCI Retriever
  • Invented at UCLA
  • Leading device therapies for cerebral aneurysms
    • Guglielmi detachable coil, Matrix coil
    • Invented at UCLA
  • Leading catheter therapy for intracranial arteriovenous malformations and fistulae
    • Onyx as liquid embolic agent for intracranial arteriovenous malformations and fistulae
    • Developed at UCLA
  • First MRI demonstration of successful reversal of advanced stroke injury in humans
  • First validated instrument for paramedic recognition of stroke
    • Los Angeles Prehospital Stroke Screen (LAPSS)
  • First prehospital neuroprotective treatment of stroke trial
    • Field Administration of Stroke Therapy - Magnesium (FAST-MAG)
  • First stroke device studied utilizing FDA approved exception from informed consent under emergency circumstances
  • First multi-center trial of body weight-supported treadmill training and drug therapies for stroke
  • First clinical cellphone PACS system for remote review of CT and MRI scans in acute stroke
    • Developed at UCLA
  • First US multicenter trial of endoscopic treatment for acute intracerebral hemorrhage
  • First routine use of intraoperative digital subtraction ANGIOGRAPHY for evaluation after surgical aneurysm and AVM treatment
  • First Neuro ICU-adjacent comprehensive stroke imaging center with CT, PET, 3T MRI

  • First ICU and ED robot for remote monitoring of stroke patients

  • First cerebral blood flow laboratory to use bedside xenon CBF studies and TCD for stroke critical care and research

  • First clinical information system with acute stroke management dashboard

  • First to deploy write-once, write-everywhere stroke note for clinical documentation and automated quality and research database completion

  • First systematic secondary prevention program for cerebral atherosclerosis
    • Preventing Recurrence of Thrombo-embolic Events through Co-ordinated Treatment (Stroke PROTECT Program)
  • First confirmation that stroke diagnosis in the field by paramedics and neurologists by cell phone is highly accurate
    • Field Administration of Stroke Therapy - Magnesium (FAST-MAG)Field Administration of Stroke Therapy - Magnesium (FAST-MAG)
  • First validation of wearable, remote wireless health monitoring for stroke
    • Developed by UCLA wireless Health Institute faculty and students