New device could protect brain during cardiac surgery

16 March 2015

A team at Yale School of Medicine have tested a new device that could lower the risk of stroke and brain damage in patients undergoing heart-valve replacement.

Led by Dr Alexandra Lansky, the DEFLECT III trial preliminary findings were presented at the American College of Cardiology's Annual Scientific Session. 

Dr Lansky, associate professor of medicine (cardiology) at Yale School of Medicine, and Dr Andreas Baumbach, from the Bristol Heart Institute, analysed the efficiency of TriGuard, which is placed in the aortic arch during transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

Up to seven per cent of patients suffer a stroke when undergoing TAVR, which is designed to repair a damaged heart valve without surgery, because emboli is released into the brain.

The TriGuard device has a mesh filter that covers the three major cerebral blood vessels, preventing the emboli from being released. The team found that, when the device was used, there were much fewer ischemic brain lesions and lesions of reduced volume.

"One of the major findings is, for the first time, we're showing that with protection, 55 per cent more patients have completely clean brains -- with no ischemic brain lesions at all," said Dr Lansky. 

Posted by Phillip Briggs

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Image Credit: Thinkstock

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