Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Medical Briefs November 19, 2003

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OKC Medical Briefs November 19, 2003

Article excerpt

Mercy Health Center is the first facility in the state with the technology to treat patients with aneurysms without performing brain surgery.

A Mercy patient with a wide neck aneurysm - among the most difficult aneurysms to treat - underwent a less invasive, endovascular procedure that places a stent at the area of the aneurysm via a catheter. Once the stent is in place, metallic coils are placed inside the aneurysm to decrease the chance the aneurysm will rupture.

Although there have been occasional attempts in the past to use cardiac stents in brains, they have been less successful because of the anatomy of the brain and stent properties. Boston Scientific's Neuroform2 Microdelivery Stent System is the first specialty device approved by the FDA to be used for intracranial applications.

Without a device like this, we wouldn't have been able to treat this patient, said Tim Tytle, a Mercy interventional radiologist. It allows us to be able to remodel the artery and dramatically decrease the chance the aneurysm will rupture. About 25 percent of intracranial aneurysms have wide necks and without the Neuroform device, it was difficult, if not impossible to treat them without major surgery.

If not for this new technology, patients would have the choice of two types of surgery. One involves removing a section of the skull and placing one or more metal clips across the aneurysm neck. The other surgery involves tying off the blood vessel that supplies blood to the artery with the aneurysm.

Studies have shown that the risk of death or disability a year after undergoing a stent and coil procedure may be less than undergoing an open surgical procedure with metal clips, according to Mercy. In an earlier aneurysm trial with more than 2,000 patients, the trial was halted after it was determined that the success of stents and coils was so much greater that it was deemed no longer ethical to randomize patients to neurosurgical clipping.

Mercy Health Center is a member of the Mercy Health System of Oklahoma and the Sisters of Mercy Health System-St. Louis.

OMRF receives MRI donation

The law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton of Atlanta has made a $100,000 contribution to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, it was announced on Tuesday.

Kilpatrick Stockton's gift will help OMRF establish a magnetic resonance imaging facility for mice, the first of its kind in Oklahoma. The new facility, which will be completed in 2004, will allow researchers to view the internal organs of experimental animals at virtually a microscopic level without dye injection, biopsies or surgery.

Kilpatrick Stockton has been privileged to serve OMRF for almost 15 years relative to technology transfer matters, including work on patents, licenses and significant patent infringement and licensing dispute litigation, said John Pratt, chair of the law firm's intellectual property practice.

We are delighted to have this chance to give something back, and it is particularly meaningful for us to support OMRF's research involving Dr. Fletcher Taylor and Dr. Charles Esmon, with whom we have worked extensively in recent years, said Susan Cahoon, a senior litigation partner with the law firm. We want this gift to be a catalyst for making a real impact in helping save lives, and we are confident that this new MRI facility will make a difference.

Although the MRI is commonplace in human medicine, according to OMRF President J. Donald Capra, there are currently no more than a dozen small animal MRIs in the country.

Thanks to the generosity of Kilpatrick Stockton and other farsighted donors, our scientists will now have a powerful, research- grade MRI to study the cells and organs of living mice, just as doctors are able to use conventional MRIs to study human patients in hospitals, said Capra.

Capra foresees numerous applications for the instrument, from helping OMRF researchers who are trying to develop an inhibitor that blocks the progression of Alzheimer's disease to facilitating the study of such diseases as breast cancer, lupus and cardiovascular disease. …

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