Customized Device to Treat Brain Aneurysms Could Reduce Risk of Recurrence – Surgical Techniques

Image: Researchers design customized device to improve brain aneurysm treatment (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Image: Researchers design customized device to improve brain aneurysm treatment (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Subarachnoid hemorrhages, or bleeding that occurs in the space between the brain and the surrounding membrane, usually occur when an aneurysm, an irregular swelling in a blood vessel, bursts in the brain. The current methods for treating intracranial or brain aneurysms are surgical clipping that requires high-risk open-cranial surgery, or the current “gold standard” called endovascular coil embolization, a minimally invasive surgery that uses a catheter to deliver soft coils to prevent. blood flow into the affected blood vessel. However, one problem with these techniques is an increased risk of recurrence due to the complexity of the shape, size or geometry of the aneurysm. Now, a five-year research project will lead to the design of a device that can be customized to better treat unique aneurysms that can be fatal.

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Funded by a $3.25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for the five-year project, researchers from the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK, USA) along with their colleagues will specifically target subarachnoid hemorrhages. The researchers will use advanced biomedical 3-D printing to design and create unique, customized devices that can be tailored to the specific geometric shape, size and location of an aneurysm. This could reduce the risk of recurrence resulting from the use of surgical clip ligation and endovascular coil embolization procedures to treat intracranial or cerebral aneurysms.

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“The driving problem is even with this technique, because of the complexity of the shape, size or the geometry of the aneurysm, is that there is an increased risk of recurrence,” said Chung-Hao Lee, Ph.D., at the University of Oklahoma. who will lead the project. “It is possible that five or six years after the initial embolization, 20-25% of the patients will develop the same issue again. So, it increases the corresponding health care and can also lead to a poor prognosis and even the mortality for the patient.”

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“The overall clinical and translational benefits of our project will be to prevent aneurysm rupture and its induced strokes, which account for approximately 15% of new strokes each year, and to reduce the 20% failure rate of the current gold standard. This is extremely a promising area to advance the clinical field,” Lee added.

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