Visit the Stroke Center page
As one of the largest stroke facilities in the Southeast, Vanderbilt treats over 1,000 acute stroke victims each year. Named an Advanced Certification Comprehensive Stroke Center, Vanderbilt is located in the heart of the stroke belt, that is, a southeastern region of the U.S. that public health officials have recognized as having an unusually high number of stroke victims. This high volume of patients is met with a large faculty, providing a breadth of expertise to patient care and research. Patients are supported by an interdisciplinary care team equipped with the latest advances in stroke medicine, including intravenous thrombolysis and mechanical thrombectomy. Stroke care at Vanderbilt goes beyond acute clinical treatment—Vanderbilt neurologists collaborate with physicians and researchers across the institution to provide prevention education, follow-up care and rehabilitation.
Physicians in the Vanderbilt Stroke division enjoy close collegial engagement with other departments including Emergency Medicine, Neurosurgery, Radiology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Cardiovascular service. The division also consults in clinic on a number of cerebrovascular conditions including carotid artery and cerebral artery stenosis, transient ischemic attack (TIA), Moyamoya Disease, CADASIL and MELAS.
In addition to rich internal collaborations, Vanderbilt is a key institution in the statewide stroke network. Physicians treating stroke patients in other stroke network hospitals throughout Tennessee may call a Vanderbilt stroke neurologist to help guide them through appropriate diagnostic and treatment steps. This service is part of Vanderbilt’s growing tele-neurology options.
Vanderbilt is committed to advancing the field of stroke care, as evidenced through a large focus on clinical trials and other cutting-edge research initiatives. (Patients interested in clinical trials can learn more at the Vanderbilt Stroke Center.)
Vanderbilt also provides a Teleneurology network, such that care of acute neurological emergencies such as stroke can be advised over a video link to a network of hospitals in Tennessee and Kentucky.
As a comprehensive stroke center, Vanderbilt is certified by the American Heart Association, receiving gold status for several years. The Get With The Guidelines program for stroke centers has also awarded Vanderbilt with a gold certificate each year. In addition to maintaining a leadership role in Middle Tennessee, the Stroke Division at Vanderbilt participates regionally and nationally in the Stroke Belt Consortium, the American Heart Association Stroke Team and in numerous National Institutes of Health-sponsored and industry-funded clinical trials and drug studies.
- 94% of our patients receive the clot busting medication tPA in less than 60 minutes—which means more lives are saved.
- Our complication rate remains well below the national average, thereby demonstrating our commitment to safety and quality.
- Our patients consistently rate the care they receive from us as 10 out of 10.
Comprehensive stroke care at Vanderbilt means advancing the boundaries of what that care looks like. Vanderbilt’s unique position as a leader in clinical stroke care also makes it a haven for research. Research extends beyond the Stroke Division, as several faculty within the division actively work cross-departmentally to address the relationships between Neurocritical Care and Neurosurgery.
Highlights of current areas of clinical and lab-based research include:
- C3Fit involving post-stroke care, a large national study involving 18 comprehensive stroke centers, with the coordinating center at VUMC.
- Blood pressure management after mechanical thrombectomy
- Clinical drug trials involving various treatments in stroke, aneurysms, etc.
- Relationships between Neurocritical Care and Cognitive impairment
- Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy
For additional details about research in the Stroke Division, visit the division research page.
Trainees with the Vanderbilt Stroke will gain invaluable experience treating patients in one of the busiest and most comprehensive stroke care centers in the country, while helping forge the future of stroke care by working alongside some of the field’s top clinical investigators and researchers.