New Tricuspid Valve Study Launched at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital


Doctors at Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital are the first in Arizona to perform a new tricuspid heart valve procedure as part of a preliminary feasibility study of the Intrepid ™ Transcatheter (TTVR) tricuspid valve replacement system.

The Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is the only hospital in Arizona to participate in the global clinical study. The Intrepid TTVR System is an investigational device that received breakthrough device designation by the FDA at the end of 2020.

The tricuspid valve helps keep blood flowing in the right direction through the upper right chamber of the heart. The procedure is being studied for use in patients with severe and symptomatic tricuspid regurgitation, which can lead to possible heart failure or death.


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Tricuspid regurgitation affects approximately two million people in the United States. It is a heavily undertreated disease due to the morbidity and mortality associated with surgery, according to interventional cardiologist Dr Timothy Byrne, medical director of cardiology services at Abrazo Health.

The device is implanted using a transfemoral delivery catheter, a minimally invasive method that allows doctors to position and place the valve through a catheter inserted into the femoral vein.

“A significant number of patients are affected by heart valve disease and tricuspid valve regurgitation. We are delighted to be part of the research on this new device which could lead to a possible future generalized treatment of people with this disease, ”said Dr Byrne.

“Much progress has been made in catheter replacement of diseased aortic valves, but the ability to replace the tricuspid valve without open heart surgery represents a new frontier in cardiology,” added Dr. Merick Kirshner, cardiothoracic surgeon at the Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital.

“Many patients requiring tricuspid valve replacement are not good candidates for traditional tricuspid valve surgery due to the poor function of the right side of the heart and are therefore considered high risk patients,” said Dr. Kirshner.

“The outcome data generated during this initial study phase will be useful for the future treatment of these patients. We are optimistic that this study will help increase clinical research and device innovation around this treatable disease, ”added Dr Byrne.

The Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital Structural Cardiac Program provides options for patients with conditions that negatively affect the structure and function of the heart. Doctors at the hospital have participated in numerous clinical studies leading to the approval and widespread use of new devices and procedures, such as TAVR – Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement.

Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital is the first hospital in the western United States to hold accreditation from the American College of Cardiology for cardiac catheterization, treatment of chest pain, heart failure and fibrillation little finger.

For more information on cardiovascular services at Abrazo Health hospitals, visit AbrazoHealth.com.


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