Dr. Marc Chimowitz researches treatments to prevent stroke caused by narrowing of brain arteries. This field of research is especially relevant in South Carolina, which has the nation’s second-highest mortality rate from stroke.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States. Stenosis, a blockage or narrowing of a brain artery caused by the build up of plaque, accounts for more than 50,000 of the 795,000 strokes that occur annually nationwide. Stenosis is particularly common in African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and people with diabetes.
Dr. Chimowitz received funding from the National Institutes of Health for a $28.5 million, 50-center nationwide clinical trial, which he led from the Medical University of South Carolina. The study showed that aggressive medical management alone is superior to aggressive medical management combined with a specific type of brain stent for patients at high risk for stroke. Dr. Chomowitz and the team of investigators published the results from the Stenting vs. Aggressive Medical Management for Preventing Recurrent Stroke in Intracranial Stenosis (SAMMPRIS) trial in The New England Journal of Medicine.
This was one of the largest extramural research grants in South Carolina history. The trial studied the value of using stents to prevent strokes in patients whose brain arteries have hardened and narrowed due to plaque buildup (atherosclerotic stenosis). The findings of this study have the potential to revolutionize stroke care.