The MERCI retriever is a tiny corkscrew-like device that is threaded through the circulatory system through a puncture of the artery of the leg and guided to the arteries of the brain to ensnare and remove a clot. At the clot, the Retriever is then deployed from inside the catheter and slowly rotated to ensnare the clot as a corkscrew would ensnare a cork. The MERCI Retriever, with the clot attached, is then retracted into the catheter, and the entire apparatus is withdrawn from the body. Pulling out the clot reopens the blood vessel and re-establishes blood flow into the brain.
Eric C. Santos, MD
- internal medicine
Location and Office HoursRadiation Oncology Centers PC
145 Michigan St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
- Mercy Health Saint Mary's
- Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital
- Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital
What is the MERCI retriever?
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital answered
What are the symptoms of an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in the brain?
Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in the brain can cause headaches, seizures and brain hemorrhage, which can be quite serious. When people go to the doctor with an AVM in the brain that’s caused a brain hemorrhage, there’s often a neurological deficit. This may take the form of a speech impairment, it may be paralysis of an arm and leg, or it may be a coma. About 10% to 15% of the time when an AVM ruptures, the rupture is so severe that the outcome is death, such as a fatal hemorrhage from the AVM.
How is a blood clot treated?
Learn Your Lipids answeredIf there is a blood clot, it is important to restore blood flow as quickly as possible to limit tissue damage. This can be achieved with blood clot-dissolving drug treatment, direct mechanical removal of the blood clot using a catheter (a small tube designed to go into blood vessels), and by increasing the size of the blood vessel with a small balloon that is expanded inside the vessel, followed by the insertion of metal netting in the blood vessel (stenting). These methods are often combined.
See all Blood Basics questions