First transapical implant of the Portico Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve

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St Jude Medical has announced the first patient implant of its 23mm Portico Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve using the Transapical Delivery System. The transapical procedure was performed by Anson Cheung, associate professor of surgery and director of cardiac transplant at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada. 

According to a company release, the Portico transcatheter heart valve, which is made of bovine pericardial tissue, is designed to increase physicians’ control and placement accuracy during valve deployment. The Portico valve is the first valve that has the ability to be completely resheathed and repositioned at the implant site before being released from the delivery system. The resheathing feature also allows the physician to retrieve the valve, if necessary.

“The Portico heart valve offers additional options in terms of resheathing, retrieving or repositioning the valve which in turn facilitates more accurate placement,” said Cheung. “The ability to implant a heart valve via the transapical approach provides an important alternative to treat patients who are considered high risk for conventional open-heart surgery.”


The Portico heart valve can be implanted without placing the patient on cardiopulmonary bypass, what makes it an appropriate treatment option for patients with severe aortic stenosis. As an alternative to transapical delivery, Portico valves can also be delivered through the transfemoral artery.


Recently, St Jude Medical announced the CE mark approval of its 23mm Portico Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve and Transfemoral Delivery System. The Portico Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve, the Transapical Delivery System and the Transfemoral Delivery System are not yet approved for use in the United States.

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