News | Neuro Imaging | September 29, 2015

Nico Collaborating with Hitachi Aloka Medical on New Ultrasound Brain Probe

Device coordinates with Nico’s BrainPath to offer improved visualization of difficult-to-reach brain tumors

Nico Corp., Hitachi Aloka Medical, BrainPath, ultrasound probe, brain tumors

Image courtesy of Nico Corp.

September 29, 2015 — Neurosurgical device manufacturer Nico Corp. and surgical ultrasound provider Hitachi Aloka Medical America Inc. have collaborated to provide neurosurgeons real-time, intraoperative imaging to assist with greater extent of resection when accessing brain tumors using the Nico BrainPath.

"The new Hitachi Aloka ultrasound probe provides real-time intraoperative imaging feedback with the economics and efficiency of an ultrasound," said Juan Alzate, M.D., neurosurgeon with The American Center for Spine and Neurosurgery and Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Chicago. "With the immediate feedback it provides surgeons within a minimally invasive corridor, they can confirm location of the brain tumor, proximity of nearby vessels that may be encountered beyond the direct field of view and the extent of the resection."

In the United States alone, nearly 500,000 patients are diagnosed each year with brain abnormalities such as tumors and hemorrhagic stroke. Due to the location of the abnormality and the complex nature of the brain, more than 50 percent of those patients have few, if any, effective surgical treatment options. While surgical resection followed by adjuvant therapy is considered the gold standard for neurosurgical treatment of brain tumors, the risks of debilitating deficits has been too great until now to attempt many of these surgeries.

A unique surgical approach to these subcortical abnormalities using the BrainPath has been used in more than 2,500 procedures at more than 60 institutions throughout the United States. In some cases, visualization of the tumor can be difficult without creating a larger access point, increasing the chances of deficits. The new Hitachi Aloka ultrasound probe, still under development, is specifically designed for use with the BrainPath. It uses ultrasound technology to assist surgeons in precisely and efficiently locating tumors beyond their direct vision in the surgical field.

This collaboration comes just one month after Nico announced that, based on the evaluation of the clinical effectiveness and documented patient outcomes when using BrainPath, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted the BrainPath clearance for specific indications for subcortical access to brain tumors, cysts and vascular disease.

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