Method and Apparatus for Monitoring and Restoration of Shunt Function
Hydrocephalus is a condition where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the brain accumulates in the ventricles and increases pressure within the skull. It is routinely treated through insertion of a catheter in the brain connected to a shunt that acts to redirect CSF to other areas of the body to be reabsorbed, such as the abdomen or heart. Often however, the catheter becomes blocked with debris, either tissue from the insertional scar or others, resulting in shunt-failure. Current treatment of this condition includes monitoring the amount of CSF through a computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan, or ultrasound.
This invention improves the ability of a physician to treat hydrocephalus through (1) detecting shunt failure, (2) quantifying the extent to which a catheter is blocked, and (3) verifying the success of the intervention by measuring the ability of CSF to flow unobstructed through a catheter. Rather than surgically drilling a hole in the patient’s skull, intracranial pressure is quantified through comparing Fourier transformation of the pulsation waveform (derived from a wireless interface of displacement sensors) to the tympanic membrane displacement waveform to derive a correlation coefficient.
This technology is useful not only for treating and monitoring variants of hydrocephalus, but extends to any condition where surgical access to the ventricles of the brain is required: head trauma, stroke, intraventricular tumors, etc, with the benefit of not needing to drill a hole in the patient’s skull every time intracranial pressure is to be measured.
Kim Manwaring, Preston Manwaring, Mark Manwaring
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