EKOS introduces sonic system for dissolving vascular blood clots
30 July 2008
EKOS Corporation has launched the EkoSonic Endovascular System (EkoSonic
ES) with rapid pulse modulation (RPM) for the dissolution of vascular
The company says the EkoSonic ES is the only endovascular system that
can deliver microsonic energy and thrombolytic drugs simultaneously,
providing a safer, faster and more complete way to remove clots by
accelerating dissolution. The EkoSonic ES recently received FDA
Intermittent bursts of microsonic energy effectively increase the
permeability of the clot to the thrombolytic four times faster than
conventional catheter-directed thrombolysis with no evidence of thrombus
breakage or hemolysis.
“Unlike mechanical devices, EKOS technology does not fracture the
thrombus or damage red blood cells. Faster clot dissolution means a
lower lytic drug dosage, resulting in fewer complications. Physicians
can treat patients in less time, with even greater clinical confidence,”
said Robert Hubert, EKOS president and CEO.
EkoSonic ES is also compatible with a new line of endovascular
devices, EkoSonic Mach 4 Endovascular Device (Mach4). The Mach 4 was
specifically created to be compatible with the RPM technology.
The Mach 4 offers a variety of treatment zone options. Each Mach 4
consists of a MicroSonic Core within an intelligent drug delivery
catheter. This combination device enables the system to deliver
microsonic energy and drugs simultaneously to accelerate clot
dissolution. Reduction in time translates to fewer drugs, lowering the
risk profile of the procedure while the convergence of technologies
results in a safer, faster, more complete outcome in the treatment of
deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and peripheral arterial occlusions (PAO).
Over the past three years, physicians have responded favourably after
performing nearly 6,000 cases utilizing the EKOS technology. “We predict
that the EkoSonic will become the new gold standard to treat patients
with vascular thrombosis,” concluded Hubert.
Background to DVT and PAO
Deep venous thrombosis
The Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF) states that DVT occurs when a
blood clot, or thrombus, develops in the large veins of the legs or
pelvic area. Some DVT’s may cause no pain, whereas others can be quite
painful. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, the majority of DVT’s are
not life threatening. However, a blood clot that forms in the invisible
'deep veins' can be an immediate threat to your life, as compared to a
clot that forms in the visible 'superficial' veins, the ones beneath
your skin. A clot that forms in the large, deep veins is more likely to
break free and travel through the vein. It is then called an embolus.
When an embolus travels from the legs or pelvic areas and lodges in a
lung artery, the condition is known as a 'pulmonary embolism', or PE, a
potentially fatal condition if not immediately diagnosed and treated.
Peripheral arterial occlusion (PAO) disease
The arteries are the vessels in the body that supply oxygenated blood
to the tissues. Acute peripheral arterial occlusion results in the
sudden cessation of blood flow to an extremity of the body. The main
cause of a sudden blockage of arteries leading to the extremities
(peripheral arteries) is due to the local accumulation of cells
(thrombus) and material within the artery or because a clot has been
brought to a site by the blood stream (embolism). A common site for PAO
disease is in the extremities.
Typically, the affected limb shows pallor, feels cold and becomes
painful. The local nerves may become severely damaged, leading to
paralysis (inability to move the limb). The lack of oxygen in the limb
due to the obstruction of the artery can lead to gangrene (a loss of
viable tissue). Restoring oxygen to the effected tissues requires fast
and quick treatment of the affected artery. Reperfusion is important to
minimize debilitating and potentially life-threatening negative