Medical community finds ways to make TAVR safer for at-risk patients

by Lauren Dubinsky, Senior Reporter | April 15, 2019
Cardiology Operating Room
From the April 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

A study conducted by Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland in 2015 found that robotic catheter systems allow for a high degree of stability and lower the operators’ exposure to fluoroscopy during cardiac ablation.

The downside of this approach is its high cost, a lack of institutional infrastructure and no additional benefits in terms of procedure time for experienced physicians.

But despite that, Edupulapati reported that robotic-assisted cardiac ablation procedures are still becoming more prevalent among the medical community due to their high safety, comfort and convenience for both physicians and patients.

Unmet need in the mitral heart valve space
NHLBI’s Khan stressed that the big unmet need in valve disease is the treatment of failed mitral valve. There are numerous valve repair and replacement devices currently under investigation and in early human studies, but he remains skeptical.

“Given the increased complexity of the mitral valve, it is unlikely that a one-treatment-fits-all solution like TAVR will be found in the near future,” he said.

One of those devices is Edward Lifesciences’ CardioBand mitral system. It’s an alternative to surgical mitral valve repairs for patients with functional valve regurgitation, which requires weeks of recovery.

In these patients, the mitral valve leaks as blood flows through the left atrium and left ventricle usually due to a deformity in the valve circumference. That can be the result of damage to the left ventricle from a previous heart attack or cardiomyopathy.

CardioBand mitral system from Edward Lifesciences
is an alternative to surgical mitral valve repairs
for patients with functional valve regurgitation.
The CardioBand is delivered through a small incision in the groin area and enters a catheter that passes through the femoral vein and into the heart. The cardiologist uses a control device to deploy small springs and then anchor them along the edge of the mitral valve.

The cardiologist then cinches the opening of the valve so that it resembles its original shape and size. That enables the leaflets to close more easily.

In June, Henry Ford Hospital became one of 17 U.S. trial sites to use CardioBand. The hospital has been working on the mitral valve for five years and has performed over 300 transcatheter mitral valve repairs and replacements since its transcatheter mitral program was initiated in 2013.

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