Monday, June 26, 2006

New Implantable Heart Failure Device Makes Debut

A new device to assist heart failure patients is under development by Orqis Medical Corporation and had "preclinical" results described in a satellite symposium at the European Society of Cardiology's Heart Failure 2006 symposium in Helsinki, Finland (though these were not provided in the press release) . The device is about the size of an ICD and functions like a miniature left ventricular assist device by removing blood from the iliac artery and returning it to the axillary artery. Proof of concept data appeared promising in a small study on 24 patients published earlier in Circulation (Circulation 2005; 112:3107-3114) with an analogous system made by the same company and developed for more limited use that exists outside the body.

It looks like this will be a while before this device is available in the US since the first-generation device that resides outside the body is only now beginning to enroll patients for FDA evaluation. The device will likely require anticoagulation to avoid clots from developing within the systemic arteries. Nonetheless it is yet another clever gadget on the horizon for our sickest heart failure patients. (Photo courtesy


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