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Finally a Viable Treatment for Heart Failure

15 July, 2012 | Cardiology Equipment, medical equipment, News

Parachute Device Illustration

Millions of people suffer from Heart Failure worldwide with numbers on the rise. According to the American Heart Failure Association, 6 million Americans are afflicted with Heart Failure with an estimated 400,000 – 700,000 new cases expected to join them this year. The number of occurrences of patient death in the United States averages 250,000 annually.

A common form of Heart Failure is Ischemic Cardiomyopathy. The condition is characterized by an enlargement of the heart as a result of having to work harder to pump blood with damaged heart tissue. Over time, reduced blood flow and heart function cause Heart Failure symptoms to progressively worsen and affect the patient’s quality of life and mortality.

Compared to the large numbers of Heart Failure sufferers, treatments are limited and at times necessitating invasive medical equipment and Cardiothoracic Surgery, focusing on improving symptoms and heart function however they do not stop the condition from deteriorating.

CardioKinetix, based in Menlo Park, CA, has pioneered a percutaneous ventricular restoration therapy in the form of a minimally invasive device called the Parachute™. This first-of-its-kind catheter-based device is a breakthrough treatment for patients with ischemic heart failure, a debilitating condition caused by damage to the heart muscle following a heart attack. The Parachute partitions the damaged muscle, excluding the non-functional heart segment from the healthy, functional segment to decrease the overall volume of the left ventricle and restore its geometry and function. Under conscious sedation, the device is implanted into the patient’s femoral artery through a small catheter and into the heart

The Parachute™ implant is comprised of a flexible membrane stretched over a light, metal frame; a combination of materials that are pliable enough to be manipulated inside the human heart and yet will appear in an ultrasound during follow up diagnostic procedures.

Presented at the 2012 EuroPCR Conference in Paris, clinical results taken two years after the first 31 patients received the Parachute™, revealed positive and sustained outcomes; the findings suggest that the device interrupts the progression of heart failure, reducing repeat hospitalizations and mortality, and allowing patients to resume normal activities.

The device currently has CE Mark and CardioKinetix plans on commercializing the Parachute™ device in Europe in 2013. A randomized control trial is planned to start soon in the United States. The initial test results have left researchers overjoyed and very optimistic about the device’s potential to have a positive impact on the lives of so many patients suffering from this type of heart failure.