- Mass General announces two first-of-their-kind procedures in New England to treat one of the most common forms of heart valve disease
- A tricuspid valve replacement and tricuspid valve repair were performed at the hospital earlier this summer
- Procedures may improve patients' quality of life and reduce or eliminate symptoms
Sammy Elmariah, MD, MPH
These new procedures provide innovative and exciting options for a group of patients who have long had limited treatment options and consequently have been suffering the ill effects of tricuspid valve disease.
Director of Interventional Cardiology Research
Massachusetts General Hospital
BOSTON – Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is announcing two first-of-their-kind procedures in New England today, to treat one of the most common forms of heart valve disease. A tricuspid valve replacement and tricuspid valve repair – both involving catheter-based systems designed specifically for patients with tricuspid valve disease – were successfully performed at MGH earlier this summer.
Tricuspid valve disease currently affects more than 1.6 million Americans, but each year, only a few hundred patients undergo open-heart surgery to correct the condition, in which the valve between the two right heart chambers doesn't function properly. Patients may experience symptoms like fluid retention, fatigue, shortness of breath and abnormal heart rhythms. Currently, symptoms are often treated with medications alone, leaving the tricuspid valve disease to progress and eventually leading to unpleasant side effects and more serious long-term complications including kidney disease and heart failure.
“These new procedures provide innovative and exciting options for a group of patients who have long had limited treatment options and consequently have been suffering the ill effects of tricuspid valve disease,” says Sammy Elmariah, MD, MPH, director of Interventional Cardiology Research at MGH and principal investigator for the studies of both new procedures. “Importantly, our experience to date suggests that treating tricuspid valve disease in this way may improve a patient’s quality of life and reduce or even eliminate symptoms.”
The tricuspid valve repair was performed at MGH as part of the nationwide CLASP II TR Trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the Edwards PASCAL Transcatheter Repair System in patients already taking medications for tricuspid regurgitation – in which blood flows incorrectly and back through the diseased valve to the heart. The tricuspid valve replacement was performed within the TRISCEND Early Feasibility Study using the Edwards EVOQUE transcatheter heart valve system. In both procedures, the heart’s tricuspid valve is accessed by the care team through the femoral vein in the leg. Patients are often able to leave the hospital after just a day or two.
“For many years, MGH has been leading the way in this emerging field of work,” says Ignacio Inglessis-Azuaje, MD, interventional cardiologist at MGH and a co-principal investigator for CLASP II TR and TRISCEND. “Many of us have been deeply entrenched in the work to develop the types of systems needed to try to obtain a clear-cut solution for some of our most complex patients.”
The care team for both the repair and the replacement procedures also included Nathaniel Langer, MD, MGH Cardiac Surgery; Jonathan Passeri, MD, MGH Interventional Echocardiography; Evin Yucel, MD, MGH Interventional Echocardiography; and Michael Fitzsimons, MD, MGH Cardiac Anesthesiology.
“One of the best things we offer at MGH is the power of our multidisciplinary teams,” says Langer. “By bringing together top disease specialists, surgeons and imaging experts during procedures, we’re aiming to deliver optimal outcomes for our patients.”
Enrollment for both studies is nearly complete. The MGH will also have an active role in the continued clinical testing of the valve replacement technology, with the forthcoming TRISCEND II Clinical Trial. To learn more about the MGH Heart Valve Program, click here.
About the Massachusetts General Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital, founded in 1811, is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. The MGH Research Institute conducts the largest hospital-based research program in the nation, with an annual research budget of more than $1 billion and comprises more than 8,500 researchers working across more than 30 institutes, centers and departments. In August 2020 the MGH was named #6 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in its list of "America’s Best Hospitals."