, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 358–371 | Cite as

Convection-Enhanced Delivery



Convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is a promising technique that generates a pressure gradient at the tip of an infusion catheter to deliver therapeutics directly through the interstitial spaces of the central nervous system. It addresses and offers solutions to many limitations of conventional techniques, allowing for delivery past the blood–brain barrier in a targeted and safe manner that can achieve therapeutic drug concentrations. CED is a broadly applicable technique that can be used to deliver a variety of therapeutic compounds for a diversity of diseases, including malignant gliomas, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. While a number of technological advances have been made since its development in the early 1990s, clinical trials with CED have been largely unsuccessful, and have illuminated a number of parameters that still need to be addressed for successful clinical application. This review addresses the physical principles behind CED, limitations in the technique, as well as means to overcome these limitations, clinical trials that have been performed, and future developments.

Key Words

Convection-enhanced delivery Malignant gliomas Drug delivery Technique Central nervous system Blood–brain barrier 



This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant T35 AG044303 (A.M.M.), the NIH Office of the Director 1DP5OD021356-01 (A.M.S.) and R01 CA161404 (J.N.B.).


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Copyright information

© The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neurological SurgeryColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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