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Stroke Research

The physicians at the UI Health Stroke Institute are at the forefront of stroke research, developing new technologies and therapies for treating and preventing stroke.

Dr. Fady Charbel, head of the Department at Neurosurgery at UI Health, is the pioneer of NOVA (non-invasive optimal vessel analysis), software to quantify the volumetric blood flow rate in the vessels of the brain. Knowledge of blood flow in the brain is essential to effectively treat stroke victims. Frustrated by the fact that there was no way to determine the volume of blood flow in vessels outside of the operating room, Dr. Charbel more than 25 years ago formed a team of physicians and scientists at UI Health to develop a solution, which became NOVA. NOVA incorporates interactive 3D images that provide a fully rotatable, 360-degree view of vasculature that allows for precise identification of each vessel for volumetric blood flow calculation. NOVA provides physicians with the flexibility to evaluate entire vasculatures or pinpoint specific areas within a vessel that may be of concern.

UI Health neurosurgeons Drs. Sepideh Amin-Hanjani and Fady Charbel were the lead investigators of the recently published VERiTAS study, which examined subsequent stroke risk among symptomatic vertebrobasilar disease patients with distal blood flow compromise. Using NOVA to perform quantitative magnetic resonance angiography, researchers were able to determine patients’ distal blood flow and identify those with a high risk for stroke. The ability to identify high-risk patients at an earlier stage has important implications for future investigations into therapies for stroke. Dr. Amin-Hanjani presented the results of the National Institutes of Health-sponsored study at the 2016 International Stroke.

JAMA Neurology
 VERiTAS study, published in the JAMA Neurology