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August 7, 2020

Modification to BACTRAC Protocol Allows for Study of Local Leukocyte Populations During Stroke

August 7, 2020—The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery (SNIS) announced that a study by investigators at the University of Kentucky Department of Neurology showed that expanding standard techniques during mechanical thrombectomy allowed investigators to reproducibly obtain and study local leukocyte populations during stroke.

The study was presented at the SNIS 17th annual meeting held virtually August 4-7. The abstract of the presentation, “Changes in Leukocyte Distribution in Intracranial Versus Systemic Blood Collected During Mechanical Thrombectomy,” was published online in the SNIS annual meeting supplement of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

SNIS reported that the study started with the established Blood and Clot Thrombectomy Registry and Collaboration (BACTRAC) protocol, then modified the tissue collection protocol to isolate lymphocytes for flow cytometry and to bank the thrombus and plasma. The investigators first established the protocol in healthy controls using venous blood samples and then initiated for thrombectomy cases.

According to SNIS, these methods can be used to expand the understanding of acute inflammatory mechanisms activated within the infarcted brain and may be critical to identifying immunotherapeutic targets that can be delivered either as adjunctive therapies to mechanical thrombectomy, or in the phases of recovery after stroke.

The senior investigators of the study are Justin Fraser, MD, from the Department of Neurosurgery, and Ann Stowe, PhD, from the Department of Neurology, at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.

Dr. Fraser and Dr. Stowe commented in the SNIS press release, “This modification to the existing BACTRAC protocol provides the opportunity, for the first time, to study changes in local leukocyte populations with flow cytometry in the arteries undergoing ischemic stroke in the human condition. Efficient processing of lymphocytes with subsequent flow cytometry analyses will provide important insight into the neuroinflammatory microenvironment of the occlusion during stroke.”

The study investigators will focus future research on investigating changes in specific leukocyte populations and how they might relate to patient demographics, patient comorbidities, infarct volume, and functional recovery. These data will help accelerate translational stroke research to illuminate new approaches for drug discovery and prognosis, noted the SNIS announcement.

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