Medtronic Addresses FDA Recall for Strata™ II/Strata™ NSC and StrataMR™ valves

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Medtronic StrataMR Shunt SystemDiscussion on social media around the FDA notification regarding the Strata™ II/Strata™ NSC and StrataMR™ valves has led to a number of questions from patients. There are two actions currently being taken by the FDA and Medtronic to address issues with each of these products respectively.

Strata™ II/Strata™ NSC Valves

Medtronic has proactively implemented a Field Corrective Action (FCA) for its Strata™ II/Strata™ NSC valves. This type of FCA is referred to by the FDA as a ‘Class II Recall’. No actual shunt products are being “recalled” by Medtronic from the medical community.  The FCA involves Medtronic updating their Instructions for Use (IFU) to make providers aware of a rare condition related to the Strata Valve that can lead to an inaccurate pressure level (PL) reading on the Strata™ Indicator Tool or StrataVarius™ system.  The condition occurs only if a patient has been exposed to 3T MRI magnetic field or greater, and if biological debris is present to an extent that the valve magnet adjustment mechanism is impacted. This recall was initiated as a result of reported problems with the shunts in patients which occurred at an extremely low incident rate. Moving forward, new instructions will include this information in the packaging so medical professionals are aware as they monitor their patients after shunt surgery.

StrataMR™ Valves

Medtronic has also made a proactive decision to physically recall StrataMR™ valves still in stock at hospitals and medical facilities. This is to address an issue where the valve pressure level may be higher than anticipated. Medtronic is not recommending patients with the StrataMR™ have the valve removed. All providers currently using the valve have been provided with instructions to monitor existing patients with StrataMR™ valves. If you have a Medtronic StrataMR™ valve, you may have already received a communication directly from your neurosurgeon or neurologist. Please follow the advice you are being sent in this letter.

Many of you are undoubtedly asking what these recalls mean to you.

First, it is important to know what type of shunt valve(s) you have and, if programmable, its current setting. We recommend recording this information in a place that is easily accessible, like our HydroAssist® mobile app or on a Patient Shunt Card you can carry in your wallet (available from your neurosurgeon or Medtronic).

Second, as is the case with most programmable shunts, your setting can change following an MRI procedure. If you are scheduled for an MRI procedure, or need to undergo an emergency procedure, always make sure that your shunt settings are checked and verified afterwards by your neurosurgeon or neurologist.

Three, if you currently have the StrataMR™ valve, be aware of any changes to how you are feeling and notify your neurosurgeon or neurologist if you have any concerns.

It is important to note that the Medtronic Delta® fixed-pressure valve and CSF-Flow Control valves are not included in this recall. The Strata™ II/Strata™ NSC valves were first made available in the U.S. beginning in February, 2002. The StrataMR™ valve was first made available in the U.S. beginning in June, 2016.

Medtronic has indicated that they will be posting a statement on these field corrective actions shortly.


Click HERE to read Medtronic’s press release.

11 Comments for : Medtronic Addresses FDA Recall for Strata™ II/Strata™ NSC and StrataMR™ valves
    • Jose Batista
    • November 16, 2017

    I think it’s ridiculous that we even have to worry about this they need to come up with something to rectify the situation with her tree placement and removal.

      • Jose Batista
      • November 16, 2017

      Whether it’s a replacement or removal all together. I had mine put in April 4 of 2017 I’ve never had one before but I know for sure that I don’t like it I don’t like the way it makes me feel it’s very unpredictable and it’s been extremely hard just trying to just live a halfway normal life. That is whatever “normal “is anymore?

  1. Reply

    Please be aware that the Strata Valve Regular 1 (Medtronic REF-92866 can cause sever problems without an MRI ever being done. I have one and it is definitely defective and has caused me great grief and a year of my life lost to terrible symptoms of: Nausea, headaches at night, terrific fatigue and lethargy, feeling so bad I could hardly make it through the day. A year of my life has been taken away from me due to this shunt. If you have experienced any of these problems with this shunt please contact the FDA immediately.

      • Becky ickes
      • July 9, 2017

      Me too!! Ditto!

    • Reply

      My valve has been giving me issues with requiring resetting. My symptoms have been dull headache, lethargy, nausea and issues with sight ( pressure in eyes. ) Are these the same symptoms others have had? My doctor re-sets the valve but it only seems to work for 6 months and I am back for another round of resetting. I am having a hard time at work. What is solution to issue?

    • Daquasha Smith
    • April 23, 2017

    I have been experiencing nausea nausea headache loud buzzing soundsnear my shunt behind my ear pressure in the head and behind the ear I went to my surgeon and he just keep telling me that it would take time for my body to adjust once the strata shunt move from a 1.point to 1.5 I felt like I was dying what can I do to make them understand this is a everyday pain buzzing in my ear every day I’m feeling this what can I do to convince them that this is real and pain meds dont help they only make u sleep.I have had the strata shunt six month there had berm no relieve chest pain and shortness of breath.

      • Robin Espinoza
      • August 8, 2017

      I am sorry for your issues. I think they are common to all types of shunts. I have a Codman shunt since 2009 and my neurosurgeon is going to replace it with a Strata. I hope the symptoms improve for both of us!

    • William James Mason
    • March 27, 2017

    I’m getting really worried about this issue. I’ve been having symptoms but not told my doctor because my family doctor called me a liar about having hydrocephalus.

      • Judy Hamby
      • March 29, 2017

      I was diagnosed with NPH in 2005 after several months of going from doctor to doctor – none of which had a clue to my problem. I even went to a psychiatrist – – his first question….”Are you having an affair?” We finally found a wonderful neurosurgeon in charlotte, NC. In 2005 I had a Codman shunt inserted into my brain – AT LAST! I see my NS two times a year. My big question is – How long will my shunt continue to do “His/Her” job? How often should shunts be replaced?

    • Mike Stasinopoulos
    • March 15, 2017

    How do I know if my strata II Valve is working correctly

    • Patricia Hakes
    • March 14, 2017

    1. If the valve is giving an inaccurate reading on the Medtronic Strata Varius or indicator tool, how is the Dr. supposed to check the reading? That tool is what my Dr. uses to check the shunt setting. What are they supposed to use now that we know the indicator tool is not always reliable?

    2. What is biological debris and how can it get into the shunt valve or affect the shunt performance or reading? How can we or the Dr. know if biological debris is present?

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