Modifying BACTRAC protocol provides first chance to study local leukocyte populations during stroke

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A new study released at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery’s (SNIS) 17th Annual Meeting reveals that expanding standard techniques during mechanical thrombectomy, a procedure that removes a clot from an artery during stroke, allows researchers to reproducibly obtain and study local leukocyte populations during human stroke.

The study, ‘Changes in Leukocyte Distribution in Intracranial vs. Systemic Blood Collected during Mechanical Thrombectomy’, started with the established Blood And Clot Thrombectomy Registry And Collaboration (BACTRAC)   protocol and modified the tissue collection protocol to isolate lymphocytes for flow cytometry and to bank the thrombus and plasma. The researchers first established the protocol in healthy controls using venous blood samples and then initiated for thrombectomy cases.

This novel approach 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, and these methods can be used to further understand acute inflammatory mechanisms activated within the infarcted brain.

“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 ischaemic stroke in the human condition,” say co-senior authors of the study Justin Fraser, department of Neurosurgery, and Ann Stowe, department of Neurology, both at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, USA). “Efficient processing of lymphocytes with subsequent flow cytometry analyses will provide important insight into the neuroinflammatory microenvironment of the occlusion during stroke.”

Future studies will focus on investigating changes in how specific leukocyte populations might relate to patient demographics, patient co-morbidities, infarct volume, and functional recovery.


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