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Promising Data for a Minimally Invasive Device that Treats Mitral Regurgitation

CardioSmart News

A minimally-invasive device that corrects leaky heart valves shows a high success rate in elderly patients, based on findings presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 66th Annual Scientific Session in March.

The new device, called the MitraClip system, offers a minimally-invasive treatment option for patients with a leaky mitral valve. It was first approved in 2013 to treat mitral regurgitation, which occurs when the heart’s mitral valve doesn’t close fully, allowing blood to flow backward in the heart. Since the device’s approval, researchers have used national registries to monitor its safety and efficacy.

This recent study analyzed data from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology’s TVT (transcatheter valve therapy) Registry. The registry was first launched in 2012 to evaluate minimally-invasive treatment options in patients that are not eligible for traditional valve surgery.

A total of 3,000 patients were included in the analysis, all of which underwent the MitraClip procedure between 2012 and 2015. Participants were between 74 and 86 years old, and were considered too risky for traditional surgery.

Overall, 93% of MitraClip procedures were considered a success after one month. A successful procedure was defined as significantly reducing the amount of blood flowing backward in the heart.

Researchers also note less than 3% of patients died in the first month, while more than one-third of patients either died or were re-hospitalized for heart failure by one year. However, complications were more common in older adults and those with other conditions, such as lung disease and kidney failure.

Authors add that after one year, only 6% required a repeat MitraClip procedure, and 2% required mitral valve surgery.

Overall, findings are promising. This study shows that the MitraClip was generally successful in correcting leaky valves, with relatively low risk of short-term complications. However, future research is needed to look at long-term outcomes associated with MitraClip, as this study only followed patients for one year. Authors also hope that with future research, we can improve outcomes by identifying which patients are most appropriate for this type of procedure.

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