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OHSU fixes complex heart problems without open-heart surgery
Date:2/3/2011

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The pediatric cardiac team at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital is the first in the region and one of a handful in the nation to implant a pulmonary heart valve without open-heart surgery.

To date, four patients have received the landmark valve in the OHSU Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Lab. All reported immediate improvement in their energy level and stamina.

The device, called the Medtronic Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve, recently was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The valve is used to replace a narrow or leaky pulmonary valve "conduit" a tube connecting the heart to the lungs in children and adults who previously have undergone surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. Until now, pulmonary valve replacements have required open-heart surgery.

The Melody valve is inserted into a tiny opening in the leg and guided by a catheter through blood vessels into the heart. Once the valve is correctly positioned, a balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated, delivering the valve and immediately correcting blood flow.

"Children born with blocked or leaky heart valves can undergo as many as four open-heart surgeries before reaching adulthood to replace conduits that have worn out or that they've outgrown, and each time the risk of surgery goes up," said Grant Burch, M.D., director of the OHSU Pediatric and Adult Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Lab and associate professor of pediatric cardiology at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital. "The Melody extends the useful life of an implanted valve conduit and is very likely to reduce the number of open-heart operations a patient might require over a lifetime."

"This device is not going to abolish the need for open-heart surgery, but it does provide a safe and effective alternative to surgery for many children and young adults with congenital heart disease," explained Burch.'/>"/>

Contact: Tamara Hargens-Bradley
hargenst@ohsu.edu
503-494-8653
Oregon Health & Science University
Source:Eurekalert

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