"Tiny Device Is A ‘Huge Advance’ For Treatment Of Severe Heart Failure" - Gina Kolata
Almost two million Americans have severe heart failure, and for them even mundane tasks can be extraordinarily difficult. Drugs may help to control the symptoms, but the disease takes a relentless course, and most people with severe heart failure do not have long to live. Until now, there has been little doctors can do. Researchers reported that a tiny clip inserted into the heart sharply reduced death rates in patients with severe heart failure. In the new study, a device called the MitraClip was used to repair the mitral valve by clipping its two flaps together in the middle. The result was to convert a valve that barely functioned into one able to regulate blood flow in and out of the heart. The results have left leading researchers unexpectedly optimistic. The trial sends “a very, very powerful message,” said Gilbert H. Tang, MD, surgical director of the Structural Heart Program at the Mount Sinai Health System, which enrolled a patient in the trial. Doctors must watch an X-ray screen and an echocardiogram as they guide the clip to the mitral valve. When the clip arrives, “you have to see where you are grasping to get a good result,” Dr. Tang said.
- Gilbert H. Tang, MD, Senior Faculty, Cardiovascular Surgery, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Surgical Director, The Structural Heart Program, Mount Sinai Health System