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Cutting-edge stroke treatment at Montpellier CHU

Information updated on 17/10/19

In April 2019, Montpellier CHU hospital acquired an innovative neuroradiology machine to treat serious cerebrovascular accidents more rapidly and effectively. This cutting-edge tool paves the way for other innovations.

La salle de neuroradiologie interventionnelle au CHU de Montpellier©DR

The interventional neuroradiology room at Montpellier CHU ©David Richard

Every day, nearly 36 cerebrovascular accidents (strokes) occur in the Occitanie region, 18 of which are in the Montpellier Métropole area. Classic treatment for this pathology, which suddenly deprives part of the brain of blood, include thrombolysis – which breaks down blood clots by drug, or thrombectomy – removing the blood clot under image guidance.

This new cutting-edge technique restores blood circulation by directly removing the blood clot obstructing the artery using a catheter and a small stent, brought directly to the brain through the femoral artery. Set up by the Montpellier CHU in April 2019, the new interventional neuroradiology room – Biplan Azurion – makes it possible to act immediately upon the patient’s arrival.

“Performing brain imaging and endovascular unblocking at the same time considerably reduces the time it takes to treat patients,” explains Vincent Costalat, head of the neurology department at the Montpellier CHU hospital.

The technique also improves neurological recuperation. Strokes are the leading cause of dependency in France.

“The number of strokes continues to rise, so this tool meets a real need,” he points out.

A flagship project for Montpellier France Health Hub

The Azurion platform is also connected with digital simulation software. These applications analyze the size and position of implants in the brain in real-time (stents, aneurysm “cages”), thus helping to improve procedure safety.

The extremely innovative equipment will also be used for research and teaching purposes, both of which are strengths of the Montpellier health facility. A European and global reference for treating vascular cerebral pathologies, performing over 400 cerebral thrombectomies and treating 400 aneurysms annually, the CHU university hospital further reinforces its position as a leader, with support from Montpellier Métropole.

Innovation in neuroradiology is one of the focuses of the Montpellier France Health Hub initiative, a project led by Montpellier Méditerranée Métropole to develop an excellence sector that unites local hospitals, research centers, and companies. The initiative leverages the Metropolitan Innovation Pact, which enables Montpellier Métropole and the French government to co-fund part of the investment in this project, for an amount totaling 2.6 million euros.

The CHU will be able to use this cutting-edge tool to develop other therapeutic innovations, such as making it easier to detect deep epileptic foci.
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