Image: The new Alivio system ventricular catheter and flusher system restores CSF flow (Photo courtesy of Alcyone Lifesciences).
A non-invasive ventricular catheter and flusher system restores or increases cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in a non-flowing shunt.
The Alcyone Lifesciences (Lowell, MA, USA) Alivio system is designed to provide a non-invasive option for neurosurgeons to restore CSF flow in a non-flowing shunt, which may potentially avert emergency revision surgery. The system is comprised of a flusher and a ventricular catheter (VC) with a unique relief membrane designed to address one of the two most common problems with CSF shunts - obstruction of the ventricular catheter. The system is intended for use in conjunction with any CSF shunt flow-regulating valve and drainage catheter.
The flusher component does not regulate flow of the shunt system; it allows fluid from the ventricular catheter to flows freely, without restriction, through the passive flow channel. But during flushing, the passive channel is manually occluded to create temporary one-way flow into the ventricular catheter. After a controlled and limited fluid pulse is sent from the flusher, the flush dome refills with CSF from the ventricular catheter and resumes free flowing fluid through the passive flow channel.
In the case of completely obstructed flow through the shunt, the system offers a non-invasive means to flush the ventricular catheter. Retrograde flushing of the VC is performed by depression of the flush dome, which sends a controlled and limited pulse of fluid—CSF or sterile saline introduced from priming procedure before implant--into the VC. In the case of a severely occluded catheter, the relief membrane of the VC opens to restore antigrade flow in the shunt system.
“Patients and families dealing with hydrocephalus deserve a better quality of life and it is our hope that the Alivio system will provide peace-of-mind to these patients and families, living in fear and worry of potential abrupt shunt occlusions,” said PJ Anand, founder and CEO of Alcyone Lifesciences. “We are grateful to the patients and families with hydrocephalus, and clinicians treating these patients, for the encouragement and support. We are excited to launch this product in the United States and the European Union early in 2018.”
“Ventricular shunting can help save lives and improve the quality of life that otherwise most patients with hydrocephalus would never experience. However, shunt failures can be abrupt, without warning, carry significant morbidity, and be life-threatening,” said pediatric neurosurgeon Ramin Eskandari, MD, of the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, USA). “For the first time in over half a century there has been a game changing improvement in the field of hydrocephalus treatment. Implantation of Alcyone's new Alivio shunt system will enable neurosurgeons with the ability to provide emergency treatment during shunt malfunctions.”