Heart Hospital of Austin is first in Texas to implant new Portico re-sheathable TAVI device


Physicians at the Heart Hospital of Austin became the first in Texas to implant the new Portico re-sheathable transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) device as part of the PORTICO trial, which is a nationwide clinical study to examine the effectiveness of the new heart valve. The TAVI procedure was first performed in Central Texas at the Heart Hospital of Austin in February 2012.

A press release reports that Faraz Kerendi, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons, and Frank Zidar, an interventional cardiologist at Heart Hospital of Austin and with Austin Heart, implanted the Portico valve (St Jude Medical). It adds that the patient, a 68-year-old man, was identified as a candidate for the new Portico valve by physicians at the Heart Valve Clinic at Heart Hospital of Austin, a clinic specifically designed to evaluate and treat patients with valvular disease and disorders. Kerendi and Zidar are principal investigators of the PORTICO trial at Heart Hospital of Austin.

“The procedure was very successful,” Kerendi says. “The ability to fully resheath and precisely reposition the Portico valve prior to final valve deployment was very beneficial, as it helped achieve accurate placement and minimize procedural risk for the patient.”

According to the press release, the Portico valve is the first fully repositionable transcatheter valve—allowing the physician to accurately place the valve at the implant site, via a catheter, or retrieve it before the valve is fully deployed and released from the delivery system. The ability to reposition the valve helps physicians place the valve more accurately, reducing the risk for patients. The self-expanding Portico valve was developed to maintain blood flow similar to that of a natural valve.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to participate in this trial, as this valve has the potential to greatly impact patients and improve their quality of life,” Zidar says. “This unique valve design allows the device to be assessed after implantation and, if necessary, repositioned to optimize its function.”

The Heart Hospital of Austin is one of 40 sites in the United States participating in the PORTICO trial. Enrolled patients will undergo a TAVI procedure receiving either a Portico valve or another TAVI valve that is commercially available in the USA. Additionally, the trial will collect information on patients who are having a Portico valve placed inside an existing, degenerated surgical valve. This valve-in-valve registry will include patients in the trial who previously had valve replacement surgery and are now having a Portico valve placed inside an existing artificial valve without removing it.