Childs Nerv Syst. 2014 Aug 6. [Epub ahead of print]
Galarza Marcelo 1, Giménez Ángel 2, Pellicer Olga3, Valero José 2,
Amigó José M.2
1- Regional Department of Neurosurgery, “Virgen de la Arrixaca” University Hospital, Murcia, Spain;
2- Operations Research Center, University Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain
3- Department of Health Psychology, University Miguel Hernández, Elche, Spain
Based on a landmark study by Lin et al. of the two-dimensional flow in ventricular catheters (VCs) via computational fluid dynamics (CFD), we studied in a previous paper the three-dimensional flow patterns of five commercially available VC. We found that the drainage of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) mostly occurs through the catheter’s most proximal holes. In this paper, we design five VC prototypes with equalized flow characteristics.
We study five prototypes of VC by means of CFD in three-dimensional (3-D) automated models and compare the fluid-mechanical results with our previous study of currently in use VC. The general procedure for the development of a CFD model calls for transforming the physical dimensions of the system to be studied into a virtual wire-frame model, which provides the coordinates for the virtual space of a CFD mesh. The incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, a system of strongly coupled, nonlinear, partial differential equations governing the motion of the flow field, are then solved numerically.
By varying the number of drainage holes and the ratio hole/segment, we improved flow characteristics in five prototypes of VC. Models 1, 2, and 3 have a distal to proximal decreasing flow. Model 4 has an inverse flow to the previous ones, that is, a distal to proximal increasing flow, while model 5 has a constant flow over the segments.
New catheter designs with variable hole diameter, number of holes, and ratio hole/segment along the catheter allow the fluid to enter the catheter more uniformly along its length, thus reducing the chance that the catheter becomes occluded