New treatment for heart failure

An innovative device being trialled at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) may provide a treatment option for heart failure for the first time in Queensland.

The InterAtrial Shunt Device (IASD) is a permanent implant, which is under evaluation for a common type of heart failure known as heart failure with preserved
ejection fraction or diastolic heart failure, a condition where the heart becomes stiff and normal filling is impaired. Around 15,000 new cases of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction are diagnosed in Australia each year.

TPCH is one of three hospitals in Australia trialling the IASD which takes around an hour to implant via catheter from the leg. The device is inserted into the person’s inter-atrial septum, the fibrous wall between the left and right top chambers of the heart, where it redistributes blood to reduce pressure on the lungs from the stiff left side of the heart.

Cardiologists Professor Darren Walters and Dr Scott McKenzie say the development provides an option for patients with this type of heart failure.

“Traditionally, patients with the condition are typically offered medication therapy, which offers only a small benefit on symptom control, a high risk of complications and no long term solution,” Dr McKenzie says.

“The reality is that around 30 to 50 per cent of patients diagnosed with the condition pass away within three years of diagnosis.”

The first trial of the IASD at TPCH and 20 other cardiology departments globally demonstrated that the device increased exercise duration and successfully reduced the blood pressure in the lungs of recipients six months after device implant.

“The treatment is minimally invasive which means less physical trauma to the patient, a short hospital  stay – usually only overnight – and quick recovery,” Dr McKenzie says.

TPCH will participate in the next phase study of the device during 2017, along with over 30 sites aiming to recruit 700 patients worldwide. This next phase of the
study will recruit sufficient numbers of participants to be able to determine whether the device improves survival and quality of life.

Heart failure is a contributor to over 100,000 hospital admissions every year in Australia. Around 450,000 Australians experience the condition and a range of
symptoms including poor quality of life, breathlessness, fatigue, and swelling of the abdomen and ankles. The current treatment for the condition consists of carefully managed medicines, which have limited effectiveness and often leave patients with persistent symptoms and no permanent solution.

“If this trial is successful it will hopefully lead to the approval of the device as an accepted form of treatment for selected heart failure patients,” Dr McKenzie says.

2017-11-28T06:36:09+00:0028 November 2017|
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