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Original research
A technical comparison of thrombectomy vacuum aspiration systems
  1. Kurt Yaeger1,2,
  2. Annabelle Iserson1,
  3. Paul Singh1,3,
  4. Jacob Wolf2,
  5. Ester Vidal1,
  6. Thomas Oxley1,2,
  7. Anthony B Costa1,2,
  8. Johanna T Fifi1,3
  1. 1 Neurological Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2 Sinai BioDesign, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York, USA
  3. 3 Neurology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kurt Yaeger, Neurosurgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York 10129, USA; kurtyaegs{at}


Introduction Improved functional outcomes after mechanical thrombectomy for emergent large vessel occlusion depend on expedient reperfusion after clinical presentation. Device technology has improved substantially over the years, and several commercial options exist for both large-bore aspiration catheters and suction pump systems.

Objective To compare various vacuum pumps and examine the aspiration forces they generate as well as the force of catheter tip detachment from an artificial thrombus.

Methods Using an artificial thrombus made from polyvinyl alcohol gel, we tested various mechanical characteristics of commercially available suction pumps, including the Penumbra Jet Engine, Penumbra Max, Stryker Medela AXS, Microvention Gomco, and a 60 cc syringe. Both aspiration pressure and tip force generated were analyzed. Subsequently, a cohort of thrombectomy catheters were assessed using the Penumbra Jet Engine to determine tip forces generated on an artificial thrombus. One-way analysis of variance was used to assess statistical significance.

Results The Penumbra Jet Engine system generated both the highest maximum aspiration pressures (28.8 inches Hg) and the highest tip force (23.68 grams force (gf)) on an artificial thrombus, with statistical significance compared with the other pump systems. Using the Jet Engine, the largest-bore catheter was associated with the highest tip force (32.12 gf). The overall correlation coefficient between catheter inner diameter and tip force was 0.98.

Conclusions The Penumbra Jet Engine pump generates significantly higher vacuum pressures and tip forces than the other commercially available aspiration pump systems. Furthermore, catheters with a larger inner diameter generate higher tip suction forces on aspiration. Whether these mechanical features lead to improved clinical outcomes is yet to be determined.

  • stroke
  • thrombectomy
  • catheter
  • angiography

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  • Contributors JF, PS, and TO designed the study and analytical methods. JF, AC, JW, and TO developed the experimental mechanism. AI, EV, and JW carried out the benchtop testing. AI and KY performed the initial data analysis and statistical analysis. KY drafted and revised the manuscript. All authors edited the manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by a grant from Penumbra.

  • Competing interests PS is a speaker for Pneumbra. JF has received grants from Stryker, Penumbra, and Microvention. She is a consultant for Stryker and Microvention, and has ownership interest in Imperative Care.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.