UCLA researchers in the Department of Radiological Sciences have designed a new adjustable catheter system for use in embolectomy or thrombectomy procedures.
Embolectomies and thrombectomies are emergency surgical interventions in which clots are removed to restore normal circulation. They are critically time sensitive procedures especially in the treatment of stroke. Current catheter technology enables a relatively large catheter to be delivered through the winding skull base vasculature, for access to the delicate intracranial vasculature. Large catheters (4-6 French) fit in commonly utilized guiding sheath or guiding catheter system placed in the neck and used as an aspiration device within a vessel in the brain to remove the clot causing a stroke. Ideally, the size of a catheter should be matched to the size of the artery to maximize the clot capturing capability. However, it would require larger guiding catheter (10-12 French) than the current standard system (6-9 French). Also, a catheter that has the same size as the target artery would not be so navigable in delicate intracranial vasculature. Given the work flow in the acute stroke intervention its often too time consuming and virtually impossible to select a catheter that has a slightly smaller size than the target artery in a timely manner. A catheter that fits in the current standard 6-9 French guiding catheter system but could adjust to the size of the target artery would be advantageous in these emergency procedures.
UCLA researchers led by Prof. Satoshi Tateshima have developed a new adjustable tip catheter system for the removal of clots. The new catheter device is compatible with current standard guide systems and has an adjustable distal tip that can expand to a larger size (10-12 French) to accommodate target vasculature. The adjustable catheter can shrink to 3-4 French making it easier to navigate the delicate vasculature, but when needed can expand to target site diameter to maximize clot removal in a rapid and timely manner.
Prototypes of the device have been developed.
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