|PROCEDURE TO PREVENT HEART FAILURE BEING STUDIED AT WASHINGTON HOSPITAL CENTER
January 8, 2001
Experimental Cardiac Support Device Uses Polyester Multi-Filament Yarn to Keep Diseased Hearts from Expanding
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 26, 2001 – An investigational treatment to prevent the further expansion of enlarged hearts among patients who are at risk of cardiac failure is being tested at Washington Hospital Center.
The cardiac support device (CSD) uses polyester multi-filament yarn, a new form of treatment for patients who are at risk of heart failure and whose conditions have been previously
treated by medication alone.
“The CSD actually squeezes and compresses the heart slightly to make it smaller. It is designed for what is called ‘passive containment’ of an enlarged heart, to prevent it from dilating over time. Dilation is one of the processes that leads the symptoms of to congestive heart failure,” said Mercedes Dullum, MD, the Hospital Center cardiac surgeon who is overseeing the clinical trial.
The Hospital Center is one of a few test sites nationwide and is the only institution where the procedure is being done without the use of the heart-lung machine. This allows the patient’s heart to keep beating during the procedure. Minnesota-based ACORN Cardiovascular Inc., manufactures the device.
“The Hospital Center was initially approached about looking into making the procedure minimally invasive. Right now, the only way were allowed by the (Food and Drug Administration) protocol to implant the device is through a small external incision,” said Dr. Dullum.
The device simulates a thin and supple coating surrounding the left ventricle without creating a rigid barrier that impedes the heart’s motion. It provides circumferential support and conforms to the heart’s surface without creating concentrated stress areas.
Six patients at the Hospital Center have been entered in the trial since its inception. Patients who have heart failure – including those with a family history of heart disease, or who suffer from diabetes, hypertension or obesity - are being screened to determine whether if they are qualified to receive the device.
“It’s early to be talking about outcomes since this is an ongoing randomized study. However, our device patients appear to have improved. We notify ACORN when we have a patient who is appropriate for the trial and then we are notified whether a patient will receive the device or a course of medical
treatment. What we right now hope is that it will improve the quality of life for patients with heart failure,”
said Dr. Dullum.
Washington Hospital Center is a 907-bed, acute care teaching and research hospital based in Northwest Washington, D.C. It is the largest private hospital in the nation’s capital and has the thirteenth-highest patient volume in the United States. The Hospital Center is home to the nation’s third-largest cardiac program. It also has a comprehensive Cancer Institute; a full range of women’s services; an extensive organ transplantation program; MedSTAR, one of the nation’s top shock/trauma centers; and the most advanced burn facility in the region.