Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center is one of the first hospitals in the area to use a new, minimally invasive tool to treat brain aneurysms and prevent stroke. The Pipeline Embolic Device (PED) is part of a new class of devices called flow-diverters, which treat brain aneurysms in an endovascular fashion, without the need to access the aneurysm itself.
Brain aneurysms are typically sack-like out-pouchings that arise from cerebral arteries. A subarachnoid hemorrhage, the type of stroke that results when an aneurysm ruptures, is particularly devastating, carrying a 40-50 percent thirty-day mortality rate and leaving approximately one-third of the survivors disabled. The Pipeline Embolic Device is used to prevent such a stroke. The device, a mesh-like Nitinol tube—similar to a stent—is placed in the parent artery across the base of the aneurysm outpouching. Over time, blood flow into the aneurysm is reduced, or diverted, allowing the aneurysm to clot off. The clotting prevents the aneurysm from rupturing, and eventually leads to shrinkage of the aneurysm. Continue reading