New Designs of Ventricular Catheters for Hydrocephalus by 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics


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.

Childs Nerv Syst. 2014 Aug 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Galarza Marcelo 1, Giménez Ángel 2, Pellicer Olga 3, Valero José 2 and José Amigó 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

IN COLLABORATION WITH Hospital Clínico Universitario Virgen de la Arrixaca, Murcia Hospital San José Viamed, Alcantarilla Hospital Quirón Salud, Murcia Hospital Quirón Salud, Torre Vieja Hospital Virgen del Alcáza, Lorca

Juan José Ortega

Special thanks to Dr. Marcelo Galarza and for all his team. He’s a delightful person who spreads trust and calmness which I think is the best medicine for the sick.

Juan José Ortega

Diana Asurmendi

…with the neurosurgeons Galarza and specially Dr. Miguel Ángel Pérez Espejo with a great human quality. This doctor carries on his shoulders the faces of many thankful patients…

Diana Asurmendi

Dionisio Escarabajal Asensio

..meanwhile that magnificent neurosurgeon from Argentina specialized in the USA we have at Arrixaca whos name is Dr. Marcelo Galarza fixed by spine with millimetric precision…

Dionisio Escarabajal Asensio