Mechanical methods aimed at the filtration of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) are a group of therapies that have been proposed to treat neurological conditions where pathogens are present in the CSF. Even though the industry of medical devices has not been very active in this field, there is a lack of systematization of the different systems and procedures that can be applied.
First, we systematize the classification and definitions of procedures and systems for mechanical filtration of the CSF. Then we made a literature review in search of clinical or preclinical studies where any system of mechanical CSF clearance was proposed or applied.
We found mechanical filtration of the CSF has been explored in subarachnoid hemorrhage, CNS infections (bacterial, viral, and fungal), meningeal carcinomatosis, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune encephalitis, and polyradiculomyelitis. Brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases are additional potential conditions of interest. While there is some preliminary positive evidence for many of these conditions, more advanced systems, detailed descriptions of procedures, and rigorous validations are needed to make these therapies a reality in the next decades.