Miniature filtering device to make angioplasty safer being tested

Cardiologists at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center in Chicago are currently testing a new miniature-filtering device designed to make angioplasty safer. Rush is among 50 medical centers in the country, and the only medical center in Chicago, testing the device.

The device, called CardioShield from Ireland-based MedNova, catches small particles of debris that can come loose when an angioplasty balloon is inflated to open clogged blood vessels. CardioShield has a filter with holes about 140 microns in diameter and acts much like a net, catching debris while allowing blood to continue flowing during the procedure.

In standard angioplasty, a wire stent and balloon are threaded through the femoral artery in the groin to the area in the chest where the blockage occurs. Once positioned in the clogged artery, the balloon is expanded and spreads the blockage against the artery wall to open the artery. A stent is then put in to prop open the artery. In some cases, the angiogplasty procedure can cause material that comprises the blockage to break loose and float "downstream" to smaller blood vessels, leading to heart attacks and stroke.

This problem is more acute when the angioplasty is done on veins used in bypass surgery that come from the patient's legs because these veins are more prone to complications as they age. A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that 45 percent of these veins experienced blockage 11 years after the bypass surgery. These veins are also more likely to contain soft obstructive material that may be easily disrupted by procedures like angioplasty.

In a preliminary study of 29 patients with clogged arteries, the CardioShield device collected debris in 67 percent of patients. Such debris, when allowed to float down into smaller blood vessels, can put patients at risk for a heart attack, according to Dr. Jeffrey Snell, director of Interventional Cardiology at Rush. In the Rush study

Contact: Chris Martin
Rush University Medical Center

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