July 16, 2008 - Stereotaxis Inc. said today the pediatric cardiology team at the Heart and Diabetes Center of North Reinland-Westphalia in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, successfully performed a first-of-its-kind procedure to treat pulmonary atresia in a 10-year old boy using the Niobe Magnetic Navigation System.
Pulmonary atresia is a congenital malformation of the pulmonary valve, which obstructs the flow of blood from the heart to the lungs. As a result, blood is forced to flow to the lungs through a hole in the inner wall of the heart, known as a ventricular septal defect, and around a circuitous route through small, winding vessels. The disease severely limits the efficient transport of oxygen throughout the body.
This patient had failed a previous surgical attempt to correct the atresia because there were no vessels of adequate size or quality to utilize. After two conventional catheterization attempts, the Bad Oeynhausen team, lead by Dr. Nikolaus Haas, director of the catheterization laboratory in the Heart and Diabetes Center’s Department of Congenital Heart Defects, used Stereotaxis’ software to create a 3D model of the tortuous vessels that had replaced this patient’s absent pulmonary artery. The Niobe Magnetic Navigation System then made it possible for the team to navigate a magnetic guide wire through the entire length of the difficult vessel and place a specialized stent that now permits increased blood flow from the aorta to the left lung, increasing the amount of oxygen that can be pumped around the body.
Fewer than two days after the procedure, the young patient was discharged from the hospital. Before the procedure, the patient was cyanotic, appearing blue due to insufficient oxygen supply, and could not walk 100 meters without running out of breath. Today, his color is good, and he is able to walk more than 1,000 meters before needing to rest. Dr. Hass believes the patient will experience still greater improvement after a second, planned procedure to improve blood flow to his right lung.
“With the Stereotaxis technology, we are now able to help patients whose quality of life is extremely limited by severe congenital heart defects that have few viable treatment options,” Dr. Haas said. “This patient nearly died during an earlier conventional procedure, and we thought we had exhausted our options to improve his quality of life. Based on this initial experience with the Stereotaxis System, we have already scheduled another patient with pulmonary atresia for this new procedure. In our current patient population alone there are at least 20 additional children with this disease who can benefit from the unique capabilities of the Stereotaxis technology.”
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