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2021 AF Symposium

Spotlight Session: Javelin VINE Filter to Prevent Stroke

Dr. Stuart Connolly

Dr. Stuart Connolly

Dr. Stuart Connolly of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada gave a 5-minute Spotlight Session talk on the Javelin Medical’s Filter to prevent stroke. Javelin Medical is an Israeli company located in Yokne’am Illit, Israel.

(Of all the 5-minute Spotlight Session talks, this is my personal favorite. Inserting the Javelin Filter can stop most clots from getting to the brain and causing a stroke. That’s incredibly good news for many A-Fib patients! It’s simple, ingenious, and very effective.)

Filtering Out Clots Before They Get to the Brain

The idea behind the Javelin Medical VINE filter is to catch clots (emboli) trying to travel up into the brain. This is done by inserting the VINE filter into both carotid arteries.

Insertion of the Javelin Medical VINE filter

Insertion of the Javelin Medical VINE filter using Ultrasound probe

How it works: The VINE filter is inserted under the skin using ultrasound and usually without need for general anesthesia. It is a super-elastic thread-like Nitinol filter. When it’s inserted, it expands into a helical shape that fills and blocks the carotid artery while still allowing for normal blood flow to the brain.

Any clots are caught in the dense cone-like filter. Over time these trapped clots dissolve due to normal blood flow through the filter. Internal and external anchors lock the filter in place inside the carotid arteries. The VINE is intended to last for a lifetime.

Diagram: Side view Javelin Medical VINE filter

Diagram: Side view Javelin Medical VINE filter

Preliminary Studies: In early studies with sheep, the VINE filter was successfully inserted and deployed with at least a 94% success rate.

Now in Phase II Trials

The VINE is now in preliminary Phase II trials (Capture II). There have been no adverse events. But it will probably take years to get U.S. FDA approval before it’s available.

Editor’s Comments

Even when taking anticoagulants, some A-Fib patients are still at risk of an ischemic stroke. The Javelin VINE Filter could change that. Insertion of the VINE would make it improbable for a clot to make its way through the carotid arteries to the brain.
Having this extra protection would  give A-Fib patients greater peace of mind.
For patients unsuitable for oral anticoagulants, development and approval of the Javelin VINE Filter could be life-changing.
Less Need for Anticoagulants? Can the Javelin VINE Filter eventually replace the need for A-Fib patients to take anticoagulants at all? That probably isn’t likely, at least not in the near future. (Clots may still reach the brain through the vertebral arteries.) But imagine a time when no one would ever have to take anticoagulants!
Public Health Implications Beyond A-Fib: Could the Javelin Filter be used, not just in A-Fib patients, but in anyone at risk of stroke? According to Dr. Connolly, over 800,000 people a year suffer a stroke, 1 out of 3 of those due to A-Fib.
Major Healthcare Break Through? Can we dream of a world where anyone reaching, for example, age 65 would go in for a simple procedure that would forever protect them from having a clot or stroke?

The Javelin VINE Filter may make this possible. It may become a major breakthrough in health care.

Added 4/28/21: Please be advised that the above Editor’s Comments are probably way too optimistic at this time. These are very early days in the research and development of the Javelin filter. We need more data. It hasn’t been proven safe yet, let alone effective.

If you find any errors on this page, email us. Y Last updated: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Return to 2021 AF Symposium Reports

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