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October 17, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A flexible, wire-mesh sleeve that can be placed within the carotid artery is providing physicians with a safer and more effective treatment for a challenging and dangerous form of brain aneurysm.
Early use of the braided cylinder, called a Pipeline Embolization Device, shows the potential to reduce hospital stays by as much as one week in many patients. The FDA-approved device has been available for only a few months and already has been utilized successfully in patients at Ohio State University Medical Center.
Aneurysms are weaknesses in the wall of a blood vessel that result in a potentially dangerous dilation, or ballooning, of the vessel. If they burst, they can cause paralysis or death. Aneurysms can be treated with a variety of methods, but one type, termed large, or giant wide-necked brain aneurysms, are particularly troublesome due to their shape.
“Wide-neck aneurysms have a pouch-like appearance with a wider base attaching it to the artery. The “neck,” as it is called, is often wider than what we see in most aneurysms,” said Sauvageau.
“The shape makes traditional coils ineffective treatments because there is so little structure in the neck of the aneurysm to keep the coil in its proper place.”
The latest device is placed in position by a catheter inserted in the groin during a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The braided cylinder is left inside the artery across the “neck” or opening of the aneurysm where it diverts the blood flow away from the weakened wall. The procedure takes a little more than one hour to complete and the patient can leave the hospital the following day.
Ohio State is one of the first hospitals in the country to use the device. About 10 percent of all patients have large or wide-necked aneurysms, but Sauvageau expects the device to be used for treating more types of aneurysms as its effectiveness is proven.
It is estimated that one in 50 Americans have a brain aneurysm and in the event of a rupture, 40 percent of these cases can be fatal. Of those who survive, most suffer some form of permanent neurological deficit.
The other option to the implanted device is surgery where the skull is opened and a clip used to clamp off blood flow to the aneurysm.
“There has been considerable research into finding a viable non-surgical treatment option for wide-neck aneurysms that is not surgery,” added Sauvageau. “We anticipate good long-term results with this device.”
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