News | June 22, 2008

Glue-Like Liquid Used to Seal Off Brain Aneurysms

June 23, 2008 - Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, IL has become one of only a few institutions in the Chicago area and among about 25 hospitals nationally that are using a glue-like liquid for the successful treatment of brain aneurysms without surgery.

In a recent two-and-a-half-hour procedure, Thomas J. Grobelny M.D., of the medical center's Neurosciences Institute, led a team in use of the substance to eliminate an aneurysm from the petrous-cavernous carotid artery on the right side of a patient’s head.

Called Onyx HD 500, the glue-like liquid is delivered through a micro-catheter, a thin, tube-like device that has been threaded through a patient's blood vessels to the site of the aneurysm. The liquid, which hardens upon contact with blood and other body fluids, is used to fill the aneurysm, effectively sealing it off by blocking the flow of blood to it.

The Onyx material is intended for use with large aneurysms or those having wide openings, called "necks."

Aneurysms form when a weakness in a blood vessel wall causes the vessel to balloon out and form a thin-walled, blood-filled pouch. If this pouch, or sac, develops in a brain blood vessel and bursts, a patient can sustain a devastating, even lethal, stroke as blood floods the brain tissue, said Dr. Grobelny.

Dr. Grobelny is a neurointerventionalist, namely a physician specializing in minimally invasive, endovascular neurosurgery.

Just last year, the medical center became one of the first Chicago area institutions and only one in the Advocate Health Care system to use a specialized stent - the CORDIS ENTERPRISE Vascular Reconstruction Device and Delivery System. The advanced tool enables physicians to block off a brain aneurysm that has a wide neck separating it from the main blood vessel and to hold in place wire coils positioned inside the aneurysm. The wire coils facilitate clot formation, thereby stopping blood flow to the aneurysm and reducing the risk of rupture.

Also in 2007, the same team, under Dr. Grobelny’s leadership, achieved another first for the south and southwest suburbs and for Advocate Heath Care when it filled a patient’s potentially lethal brain aneurysm with coils that literally swelled up to eight times their original volume. The coils had been coated with a hydrogen polymer, which, in combination with water from surrounding body tissue, caused the coils to swell and fill the aneurysm.

For more information: www.advocatehealth.com

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