Watch Dr Rudy Goh accept the research grant award and hear a bit about the project.
Acute ischaemic stroke is a common, disabling, but treatable condition requiring urgent treatment. In 2020, there were 445,087 stroke survivors in Australia and 27,428 Australians newly diagnosed with stroke. This is predicted to increase to 50,600 annual strokes and 819,000 Australian stroke survivors by 2050. When ischaemic stroke happens, a blood vessel supplying the brain becomes blocked and cuts off oxygen supply to the brain. This causes brain tissue to die. However, brain tissue death occurs faster in areas with less blood flow, and slowly in areas of more blood flow.
We propose that increasing blood pressure with a medication called metaraminol may temporarily improve blood flow to the brain as a complementary treatment to other standard treatments. Although metaraminol is sometimes given in stroke, it is uncertain whether blood flow to the brain improves with this treatment, or to what degree. This study tests this theory directly and briefly as a ‘proof of concept’. CT perfusion accurately detects the size and region of brain tissue that will most likely die without restoration of blood flow. We aim to repeat CT perfusion to show whether brain blood flow improves after increasing blood pressure with metaraminol. If we prove that brain blood flow improves by increasing blood pressure, this may improve outcomes for patients undergoing long distance transfer for clot retrieval therapy (‘thrombectomy’).