News | May 19, 2008

Saddle-Shaped Annuloplasty Ring Designed to Repair Mitral Valve

May 20, 2008 - Medtronic introduced Profile 3D Annuloplasty Ring with a design is based on the geometry of the saddle-shaped human mitral annulus to promote natural function with the aim of repairing rather than replacing a failing mitral valve.

The Profile 3D ring design is based data strongly suggesting that nature conserves the saddle-shaped annulus for a mechanical benefit. Specifically, leaflet stress can be related to saddle height, which could affect long-term durability of the repair.

“A three-dimensional annuloplasty ring represents a vital evolution of the science. With designs that replicate natural mitral geometry we would expect to see natural valve dynamics and the potential for increased durability in the repaired heart valve,” said Michael Acker, M.D., chief of the Cardiac Surgery Division of The Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania.

When functioning normally, the dome-shaped mitral valve controls blood flow from the lungs, closing tightly under the pressure of freshly oxygenated blood when the heart contracts, then opening when the heart relaxes. Blood then flows into the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, where it is pumped throughout the body’s circulatory system with the next heartbeat. Fatigue and shortness of breath are common symptoms of mitral valve insufficiency.

During mitral valve repair, the surgeon seeks to restore, or “remodel” a narrowed, prolapsed or leaking valve to a more-normal shape and leaflet alignment, thus restoring its functionality. Surgeons are increasingly opting to repair damaged or degenerated mitral valves rather than replacing them with prosthetic devices. According to the American Heart Association’s 2006 Statistical Update, 95,000 persons underwent heart valve surgery in U.S. hospitals during 2003. In a July 2005 report, Health Research International estimated the growth of mitral valve repair in the United States at a combined annual growth rate of 8.6 percent and estimated that 36,400 mitral repair procedures would take place this year, accounting for approximately 40 percent of mitral valve procedures.

For more information: www.medtronic.com

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