Health Discoveries in Neurosurgery

New device has success in reducing brain aneurysm ruptures

April 20, 2011

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new catheter-enabled device that cuts off the blood flow to brain aneurysms and reduces the likelihood that they will rupture.

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons estimates that about 30,000 Americans suffered a ruptured aneurysm, most of them women and those aged 50 to 60.

The FDA approved the Pipeline Embolization Device, a mesh tube manufactured by California-based ev3. It is fed by catheter into the carotid artery where it cuts the blood flow and allows the aneurysm to shrink over time.

According to the agency, the device was tested in a clinical study that involved 108 people from ages 21 to 75. One year after implantation, 70 percent of aneurysms experienced by participants remained blocked without any significant narrowing of the artery.

Among the adverse reactions, nine participants suffered strokes and minor side effects included headaches, bleeding, nausea and vision problems. The FDA warned that individuals who have an active infection and those who cannot take medication that prevents clotting should not be treated with the device.

Within the North Shore-LIJ Health System, the Center for Neurosciences has a leading brain imaging program recognized for its techniques in characterizing and quantifying neural circuits in neurodegenerative disorders.

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