The physicians at Heart Hospital of Austin became the first in Texas to implant the new Portico Re-sheathable Transcatheter Aortic Valve System—an innovative, repositionable aortic heart valve and delivery system.
Heart Hospital of Austin is part of the PORTICO trial, a nationwide clinical study to examine the effectiveness of the new heart valve.
The Portico valve was used during a catheter-based valve replacement procedure known as a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which is designed to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for open-heart surgery due to advanced age, or because they are too ill or suffering from additional medical conditions. The TAVR procedure was first performed in Central Texas at Heart Hospital of Austin in February 2012.
Faraz Kerendi, M.D., a cardiothoracic surgeon at Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons, and Frank Zidar, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin and with Austin Heart, implanted the Portico valve. The patient, a 68-year-old man, was identified as a candidate for the new Portico valve by physicians at the Heart Valve Clinic at Heart Hospital of Austin, a clinic specifically designed to evaluate and treat patients with valvular disease and disorders. Drs. Kerendi and Zidar are principal investigators of the PORTICO trial at Heart Hospital of Austin.
"The procedure was very successful," Dr. Kerendi said. "The ability to fully resheath and precisely reposition the Portico valve prior to final valve deployment was very beneficial, as it helped achieve accurate placement and minimize procedural risk for the patient."
The Portico valve is the first fully repositionable transcatheter valve — allowing the physician to accurately place the valve at the implant site, via a catheter, or retrieve it before the valve is fully deployed and released from the delivery system. The ability to reposition the valve helps physicians place the valve more accurately, reducing the risk for patients. The self-expanding Portico valve was developed to maintain blood flow similar to that of a natural valve.
Artificial aortic heart valves are used to treat patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis, a condition in which the opening of the aortic valve becomes narrow, restricting blood flow from the heart to the body and causing the heart to work harder. Over time, the valve can become calcified, preventing it from opening and releasing blood properly.
The Portico transcatheter aortic heart valve system is limited to investigational use in the United States, and the PORTICO trial is being conducted under an Investigational Device Exemption from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.