Hartford Hospital Heart Study Helps Push FDA’s MitraClip Approval

Print icon

The good news for people with leaky mitral valves is that the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a device called MitraClip as an effective remedy that does not require open-heart surgery.

The better news for Connecticut residents is that some of the ground-breaking research that prompted the FDA decision in early March was done at the Hartford Healthcare Heart & Vascular Institute, giving patients better access to the physicians most experienced with the technique.

Led locally by site Principal Investigator Dr. Raymond McKay, who is also co-director of the Structural Heart Disease Program, Hartford Hospital participated in the national COAPT trial that compared percutaneous mitral valve repair with MitraClip to medical therapy in high-risk patients who cannot have conventional, open-heart surgery to repair or replace the faulty valve.

“MitraClip was originally approved by the FDA in 2013 only for use in mitral regurgitation patients having structural abnormalities of their mitral valve,” Dr. McKay said, noting that Hartford Hospital physicians have since performed more than 60 MitraClip procedures in patients with intractable congestive heart failure.

In 2018, the hospital was named an investigative site for the landmark COAPT trial, the results of which were simultaneously published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session in March 2019. A previous presentation of research results prompted the FDA’s approval of MitraClip for high-risk functional mitral regurgitation patients the same month.

In the approximately 2 million Americans with heart failure, most over age 75, the mitral valve often cannot function properly because swelling of the left chamber of the heart prevents the valve from closing properly. This allows blood to backflow through the heart, decreasing the patient’s quality of life while increasing risk of hospitalizations and rate of death. The condition can also cause irregular heartbeats that can lead to stroke and heart failure.

“These are patients who typically find no improvement with other available treatments, yet by implanting MitraClip we are able to improve their daily lives and lower their chance of hospitalization due to the valve defect,” McKay said.

Interventional cardiologists implant the MitraClip through a small incision in a leg artery, avoiding the need for open-heart surgery. The device holds some of the mitral valve sections together to reduce the backflow of blood and allowing the heart to pump more efficiently. COAPT was able to indicate, too, that MitraClip leads to significant improvements in patient quality of life, results that are sustained over the long term, he said.

For more information on MitraClip at the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute, click here.


What's New

Heart Attack

Hartford Hospital Repeats as National Heart-Attack Care Award Winner

When an emergency services dispatcher receives a call about a potential heart attack victim, physicians and nurses at Hartford Hospital must be prepared to provide the best care possible when the patient is brought through the emergency room door. Specialized treatment is critical when it comes to an ST-segment elevation...

Doctor's Visit Via Video

A Doctor Visit Via Video? Let’s Check That Pacemaker or Defibrillator Incision

Download your guide on irregular heartbeats – and how they’re diagnosed and treated.  It takes less than five minutes for Dr. Steven Zweibel or the APRNs in his electrophysiology office at the Hartford HealthCare Heart & Vascular Institute to check the incision made to install a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)...

Jeffrey Flaks

Leadership Change at Hartford HealthCare

Hartford HealthCare has named Jeffrey A. Flaks its President and Chief Executive Officer, effective Sept. 1. Flaks succeeds Elliot Joseph, who has been Hartford HealthCare’s Chief Executive Officer since 2013. Joseph made the decision to retire after leading the organization for more than 10 years. “For several years, the Hartford...

Women and Heart Attacks

Why More Young Women are Having Heart Attacks

As more and more young women – particularly of color – experience high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, they are having heart attacks at an alarming rate. According to a study in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, the number of acute myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks, in...

Connecticut Hospital Association Honors Three HHC HealthCare Heroes

One Healthcare Hero rescued a paralyzed man and his wife from flood waters, two parlayed personal heartbreaks into better care for patients, three traveled overseas to bring medical services and healthcare knowledge to the underserved, and an entire hospital became heroes during a tragic incident.  These are just some of the stories...

Cardiac Surgery

Heart & Vascular Institute Earns Top Cardiac Surgery Ratings in North America

The Heart & Vascular Institute at Hartford Hospital has earned distinguished international three-star ratings from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons for its patient care and outcomes in aortic valve replacement, coronary artery bypass grafting and mitral valve replacement and repair. Earning three-star ratings, which denote the highest level of quality,...