Mitral valve repair device 100 percent successful in first human clinical study

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Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have developed a device that has a 100 percent success rate in repairing the mitral heart valve in its first human clinical study, with results published in the journal Circulation.

The device, called Harpoon TSD-5, is a needle wrapped with 50 coils of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) that is image guided to provide a less invasive measure to mitral valve repair compared to open heart surgery.

"We think this is a safer approach than open heart surgery," said principal investigator James S. Gammie, MD, professor and chief of cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "We think the safety profile is going to be better and, ultimately, people will be able to go home from the hospital the next day."

Using echocardiographic imaging, the device is sent through a small incision in the ribcage to the heart and anchors artificial cords, made of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene, where the natural cords have broken. This device allows for a smoother operation because it is an alternative to open heart surgery, potentially making the procedure simpler and quicker.

"Mitral valve surgery requires great skill and experience to produce good patient outcomes, expertise that our cardiac surgery faculty demonstrate on a daily basis," says E. Albert Reece, MD, PhD, MBA, vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland and the John Z. and Akiko K. Bowers Distinguished Professor and dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine. "We are proud to see that a device that began as an idea in the laboratories of the University of Maryland School of Medicine may help improve outcomes for even more patients."