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The Montreal Heart Institute designated as a North American Center of Excellence

Montral, January 28, 2013 The Montreal Heart Institute has just been designated as a Center of Excellence by Abbott Vascular for the percutaneous treatment of mitral valve failure with their MitraClip system. The MHI has therefore become a reference centre for this procedure for all hospitals across Canada and many other hospitals in North America.

"The Montreal Heart Institute is delighted to receive this honour and international recognition. This designation, which we received for the quality of our care and our effective, cutting-edge program, will allow us to share our expertise with the international medical community and significantly contribute to improving care for patients with mitral valve and heart failure," said Dr. Philippe L. L'Allier, director of interventional cardiology at the MHI.

The MHI joins Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles (California) and the University of Virginia Health System (Virginia) to form a three-partner team that will train other medical centres in North America looking to start a clinical program for the percutaneous treatment of mitral valve failure with the MitraClip system.

Thanks to the exceptional clinical work of a multidisciplinary team, made up of Dr. Anita Asgar and Dr. Raoul Bonan from the Department of Interventional Cardiology, Dr. Anique Ducharme and Dr. Arsne Basmadjian from the Department of Echocardiography, and Dr. Jennifer Cogan and Dr. Alain Deschamps from the Department of Anesthesiology, the MHI is considered as a model to emulate.

Percutaneous implantation of the MitraClip system: an effective therapy

For some patients, the implantation of the MitraClip system is a preferable alternative to heart surgery. Until now, mitral valve failure has been treated with medication or open-heart surgery depending on the degree of severity and the primary cause. This system is a minimally invasive option for mitral regurgitation, as the interventional cardiologist makes a 3-mm incision in the groin and uses catheters to position the clip in the mitral valve without having to stop the heart. Currently, the typical population for this treatment includes inoperable or high-risk surgical patients, as the procedure poses fewer risks of complications compared to conventional surgery. Patients are generally discharged from hospital within 48 hours of surgery and do not have to undergo difficult rehabilitation.

"By allowing patients to regain independence and quality of life, this treatment reduces the number of hospital admissions and visits to emergency due to symptom reoccurrence," explained Dr. Asgar.

About mitral valve failure

Mitral valve failure (or mitral valve regurgitation) is the most common type of heart valve disease. This condition occurs when the anterior and posterior flaps of the valve do not close completely, which causes abnormal blood backflow from the left ventricle to the left atrium. The bigger the leak, the more blood the left ventricle has to pump to maintain adequate cardiac output. In the long term, mitral valve failure can lead to many complications, such as left ventricle dilation, atrial fibrillation and heart failure.

Contact: Marie-Jose Nantel
Montreal Heart Institute

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