Brachytherapy Catheter Positioning Guide
Stenosis of arteries or veins by the formation of atherosclerotic plaque is a well known and frequent medical problem. The most common procedure to treat such blockages is a technique commonly referred to as a "balloon angioplasty." In many patients the newly opened vessel undergoes restenosis, this is, reconstricting, as a healing response to the injury inflicted to the vessel wall during angioplasty
One approach to preventing restenosis involves intravascular delivery of radiation (brachytherapy). Intravascular delivery of the radiation treatment allows for controlled delivery of the dosage and prevents adjacent tissue from being unnecessarily exposed to the radiation source. However, the radiation source will emit radiation in all directions; therefore a radiation source that is not centered in the vessel will deliver unequal amounts of radiation to portions of the vessel wall.
In order to minimize unwanted radiation exposure and to maximize the effectiveness of brachytherapy in preventing restenosis, a means of centering the radiation source in the vessel is imperative.
An Indiana University researcher has developed a guide catheter which can be inserted into a vessel and a method for centering a dosing cathether for the treatment of restenosis. The guide catheter uses a centering mechanism that includes a simple, self-expanding basket and an elongatable section that uses equilibrium principles to center the guide catheter. The basket of the guide catheter allows blood flow to continue even while the centering mechanism is in use to center the guide catheter.
* is centered in the vessel using a simple centering mechanism
* allows blood flow to continue
* can be used to deliver a centered radiation source during brachytherapy
Scott O. Trerotola, M.D.
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