Technology | May 21, 2008

Saddle-Shaped Annuloplasty Ring Designed to Repair Mitral Valve

Medtronic introduced Profile 3D Annuloplasty Ring with a design 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.

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