Physicians can now navigate even the most tortuous anatomy with greater speed and safety with the next-generation inferior vena cava (IVC) filter delivery system introduced today by Cook Medical at TCT 2009. The release of the NavAlign™ delivery system marks the 20th anniversary of Cook’s first IVC filter and further advances the treatment of pulmonary embolism (PE), a life-threatening condition caused by blood clots in the lungs that affects thousands of Americans annually.
"PE is responsible for more deaths every year than AIDS, breast cancer and motor vehicle accidents combined, and demands more advanced and effective treatment options to improve patient outcomes," said Mark Breedlove, director of the vascular therapies technology unit of Cook Medical. "Cook has been perfecting its IVC filter platforms for the last three decades, a milestone underpinned with the introduction of NavAlign. We hope our pedigree in this area, and continued commitment to innovation, will encourage more physicians to adopt our platforms and procedural products to reduce the risk of recurrent PE."
PE occurs when a blood clot dislodges from the wall of a vein and migrates to the lung, where it blocks blood flow in the pulmonary artery. It is often a deadly complication of venous thromboembolism (VTE), clots in the veins that typically occur in patients immobilized by disease, injury or relatively minor surgeries like knee replacements and gastric bypass. Untreated, these clots will kill one out of three individuals. Positioned in the main vein that collects blood from the lower part of the body, IVC filters are designed to catch the blood clots before they get to the lungs. Traditionally they are placed using fluoroscopy by threading a catheter guided through the veins.
The NavAlign delivery system, available for both the Cook Celect® and Günther Tulip™ filters, is designed to minimize trauma and streamline filter placement with features unavailable on any other existing deployment system. A hemostatic valve minimizes blood loss at the point of entry, while a multipurpose dilator has radiopaque sizing bands and flushing sideports that decrease fluoroscopy time and the amount of contrast medium required.
Since 1989, when Cook brought the Bird’s Nest® IVC filter to the U.S. market, Cook products have helped to prevent PE in more than 200,000 patients.
“Our efforts to prevent PE span the entire scope of the procedure, from accessing the vessel with our introducer sets and needles to targeting the location of the filter with our catheters and wire guides to successfully preventing the incident with retrievable or permanent filters,” said Breedlove. “The NavAlign delivery system is a natural overlay to this procedural approach, and we look forward to improving the prevention of PE thanks to this groundbreaking technology."