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New device offers hope for people with heart failure

A tiny new device is offering hope of a better life for people with severe heart failure, reducing hospitali...

Posted: Sep 26, 2018 6:10 PM
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 6:10 PM

A tiny new device is offering hope of a better life for people with severe heart failure, reducing hospitalization rates and improving mortality risk within two years of treatment, a new study finds.

Heart failure affects an estimated 5.7 million Americans and more than 26 million people globally, causing shortness of breath and tiredness among those affected as their heart struggles to pump blood around the body.

Cardiovascular disease

Diseases and disorders

Health and medical

Heart disease

One cause of severe heart failure that currently has a poor prognosis is a leaky valve, particularly the leakage of the mitral valve, which control's blood flow in the left part of the heart. When leakage is severe, the heart can enlarge.

Estimated to affect more than two million people in the US, failure of the mitral valve causes blood to flow backwards when pumped out, meaning it can't reach the rest of the body efficiently.

But a new device -- called a MitraClip -- clips the faulty valve back together, helping it work properly and pump blood out of the heart. It has now shown promising results in the study published Sunday.

Drugs are available to ease symptoms of a leaky mitral valve, but the long-term effects are unknown, the authors write. Surgery is also an option, and can be curative, but brings significant risk of complications, as patients are often older and more frail.

Implanting the MitraClip is minimally invasive, with the device transferred up through a small incision in the groin, and has now been shown to reduce recovery time and hospitalization, according to the study.

To measure the effectiveness of the device, Dr. Gregg Stone, professor of medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians, and his team enrolled 614 patients from the US and Canada with heart failure and moderate to severe secondary mitral valve regurgitation -- a leaky mitral valve -- who continued to have symptoms despite being on drug treatment for their condition. The secondary form of the condition is when a person's left ventricle is damaged, prohibiting the valve from functioning properly.

Of the participants, 302 were given the new device and 312 acted as controls. Among those who received the MitraClip, there were 32.1% fewer hospitalizations per year within to years of follow-up.

"The annualized rate of all hospitalizations for heart failure within 24 months was 35.8% per patient-year in the device group as compared with 67.9% per patient-year in the control group," the authors wrote.

Overall mortality from any cause within those two years was also 17% lower among patients who were implanted with the device compared with the control group, at 29.1% and 46.1%, respectively.

"It's shocking how positive it is as a new therapy for patients whose hearts are very weak," said Dr. Michael Acker, the chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at Penn Medicine. Acker, who is not connected to the research, noted the study findings were far more encouraging than the results of a similar trial reported last month. "On face value, it is very exciting," he said, but he indicated that further study was necessary to understand the differences in the population groups of each study.

The MitraClip technique was first pioneered in 2003 and approved by the FDA in October 2013 to treat the primary (or degenerative) form of mitral regurgitation, according to researchers at the University of Washington.

It's use to treat the secondary form of the condition is currently under investigation and has not yet been approved by the FDA.

The new study was part of the COAPT trial for secondary mitral regurgitation and funded by American health care company Abbott, which produces the device.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 293542

Reported Deaths: 6638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19601229
Hinds18712386
Harrison16569277
Rankin12637263
Jackson12483219
Lee9671160
Madison9420196
Jones7914146
Forrest7159136
Lauderdale6798226
Lowndes6014137
Lamar585880
Lafayette5716113
Washington5182129
Bolivar4599121
Oktibbeha440391
Panola428392
Pearl River4138128
Warren4122113
Pontotoc408068
Marshall400392
Monroe3981126
Union393673
Neshoba3777167
Lincoln3491100
Hancock341674
Leflore3363118
Sunflower317385
Tate301574
Pike299193
Scott292868
Alcorn290760
Itawamba289072
Yazoo284962
Coahoma276367
Tippah276165
Copiah276057
Simpson272778
Prentiss268858
Leake252171
Marion251578
Wayne251541
Covington248278
Grenada246277
Adams233377
George231145
Newton226352
Winston221375
Jasper212744
Tishomingo211965
Attala206369
Chickasaw200851
Holmes181770
Clay178250
Stone171829
Tallahatchie170039
Clarke168971
Calhoun157128
Smith152431
Yalobusha143536
Greene127233
Walthall123640
Noxubee122829
Perry121434
Montgomery121338
Lawrence119521
Carroll117923
Amite110932
Webster110030
Jefferson Davis101231
Tunica98823
Claiborne97929
Benton93324
Humphreys92427
Kemper89623
Quitman77114
Franklin75619
Choctaw69516
Wilkinson62226
Jefferson61927
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 491849

Reported Deaths: 9869
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson707641366
Mobile35937724
Madison32307450
Tuscaloosa24024410
Montgomery22502499
Shelby21848214
Baldwin19698277
Lee14926151
Morgan13624251
Calhoun13202285
Etowah13154319
Marshall11243208
Houston10058259
Limestone9348134
Elmore9345182
Cullman8879179
St. Clair8799221
Lauderdale8588210
DeKalb8436174
Talladega7500163
Walker6509251
Jackson6483102
Autauga622890
Blount6084125
Colbert6004118
Coffee5235102
Dale4627106
Russell402930
Franklin398876
Covington3949106
Chilton386298
Escambia377472
Tallapoosa3572141
Clarke343149
Chambers3399108
Dallas3397141
Pike292972
Lawrence282284
Marion281295
Winston246266
Bibb244560
Geneva238870
Marengo233755
Pickens223954
Barbour210651
Hale209068
Fayette199956
Butler195265
Henry182041
Cherokee176438
Monroe166038
Randolph163140
Washington156334
Crenshaw144054
Clay143454
Macon141643
Cleburne137139
Lamar132432
Lowndes130749
Wilcox121425
Bullock116336
Conecuh106523
Perry105427
Sumter98331
Coosa88623
Greene87132
Choctaw54923
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