June 9, 2015 - University Hospitals Case Medical Center physicians in the Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute were the first in Ohio to implant a new device to treat right ventricular heart disease.
The Impella RP, made by Abiomed, addresses an unmet need of treating right heart failure in the setting of right ventricular (RV) infarction or after complex heart surgery, including heart transplant. The device allows the right side of the heart to recover without the upfront need for invasive surgical intervention.
University Hospitals' multidisciplinary team - including interventional cardiologist M. Najeeb Osman, M.D., chief, Cardiac Rehabilitation and Intensive Care Unit and assistant clinical professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and cardiac surgeon Benjamin Medalion, M.D., clinical associate professor of surgery at the School of Medicine - led a collaborative heart team in the catheterization lab during the first implantation at UH.
"The device sits inside the heart and takes blood from the right atrium and pushes it through the right side of the heart to the pulmonary artery, assisting the ailing right ventricle in its pumping function," said Sahil Parikh, M.D., director of the UH Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute Center for Research and Innovation and assistant professor of medicine at the School of Medicine. "This is an incredible breakthrough in treatment. It allows us to provide patients who were once untreatable with a new non- surgical option that serves as a bridge to transplant and/or recovery."
Traditional treatments for right ventricular issues are extremely limited. Many patients who experience RV dysfunction have exhausted interventional options and require invasive surgery but are at high risk for complications.
Right ventricular dysfunction has largely been underappreciated or undertreated despite its importance in such severe conditions as cardiogenic shock, largely due to the inability to support these patients without complex and highly invasive therapies. Cardiogenic shock limits the heart from pumping enough blood to vital organs such as the brain, lungs, liver and kidneys. Patients with severe RV dysfunction are at high risk for death, and open heart surgery and drug therapies have had limited success.
The Impella RP device allows for minimally invasive implantation done in the catheterization lab (about an hour procedure) and is effectively serving as a successful bridge to transplant and/or recovery and may get the patient through an acute phase of the illness.
"This is an invaluable and potentially lifesaving tool for patients with advanced heart failure with acute right heart failure," Osman said. "This new device will help us stabilize patients and buy precious time that enables them to be potential transplant candidates."
UH now offers the full spectrum of Impella pumps.
UH also participated in the Abiomed Mobile Learning Lab (MLL) program on June 5. The Abiomed Mobile Learning Lab is a highly interactive, facilitated learning experience that is brought directly to the hospital to train the hospital staff on the Impella heart pump.
The flagship Impella device, the Impella 2.5, recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to treat high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) patients. The procedure, Protected PCI, is offered at UH.
The Mobile Learning Lab offers cardiologists, nurses and cath lab staff at UH Case Medical Center a convenient opportunity to learn about the new technologies. The Mobile Learning Lab contains various Impella simulators, animations and key information, which are all presented by a team of Abiomed trainers.
For more information: www.uhhospitals.org