'Paradigm shift' in how physicians treat peripheral artery disease

Oct 05, 2010

A balloon angioplasty device that sucks up dangerous plaque debris could trigger a "paradigm shift" in how physicians treat peripheral artery disease, researchers write in the current issue of Endovascular Today.

"We will see a shift in how we treat lesions," write Dr. Robert Dieter of Loyola University Health System and Dr. Aravinda Nanjundappa of West Virginia University.

In two clinical trials totaling 123 patients, the device had a success rate of 97 percent to 99 percent and consistently outperformed filter devices typically used to capture debris particles, Dieter and Nanjundappa write.

The has approved the device, Proteus®, made by Angioslide, for angioplasties that treat disease (PAD) in the legs. PAD is caused by clogged that restrict to the legs. Symptoms include painful cramping in the hips, thighs or calves when walking, climbing stairs or exercising. Advanced PAD can cause gangrene or even lead to limb loss.

A is among the standard treatments for PAD. A physician inserts a catheter in an artery and guides it to the blockage, then opens the artery by inflating a balloon at the tip of the catheter. The physician typically deploys a stent to keep the artery open.

Inflating the balloon can knock loose particles of plaque, which travel down the leg. A large particle can block blood flow, a condition called distal embolization. In the most severe cases, distal embolizations can require leg amputation or even be fatal.

Until now, some physicians have used a filter device to prevent debris from escaping. However, the filter can damage the artery, and can be difficult to deploy. Moreover the FDA has not approved filter devices for use in leg arteries. Using filters for PAD procedures, although routine, must be done "off label."

The new device that Dieter used opens the artery just like a standard angioplasty balloon. After the artery is opened, the physician deflates the balloon. The negative pressure sucks up the debris, which is trapped inside as the balloon retracts.

"This is a much more simple and elegant approach than filter devices," said Dieter, an interventional cardiologist and vascular specialist.

Dieter is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and Director of Vascular Medicine and Peripheral Vascular Interventions at Edward Hines VA Hospital. Dieter has used the device on patients at Loyola and Hines.

His first Loyola patient was Patricia Durkin of Oak Forest, Il. Before the procedure, the top of the iliac artery that supplies blood to her left leg was 90 percent blocked. "If I walked in the mall, I had to stop every few minutes," she said. "It made my leg feel heavy. It got to the point where I didn't want to walk any distance."

The procedure restored normal blood flow. "I don't have that heavy feeling anymore," Durkin said.

Other interventional cardiologists at Loyola also plan to use the device, said Dr. John Lopez, director of Interventional Cardiology Research and professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology.

"At Loyola, interventional cardiology is very progressive, and at the forefront of technology for the treatment of PAD," Lopez said.

Explore further: Ebola expert calls for European anti-virus 'corps'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Making emergency artery repair safer

Dec 06, 2007

Catheters outfitted with balloons, lasers, and miniature drills have made the treatment of blocked arteries virtually routine. These devices are used to clear plaque from many vessels including coronary, femoral, renal, and ...

Optical imaging technique for angioplasty

Aug 10, 2010

A new optical imaging technique described in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, which is published by the American Institute of Physics, holds the potential to greatly improve angioplasty, a surg ...

Recommended for you

Ebola expert calls for European anti-virus 'corps'

Dec 26, 2014

Europe will be "vulnerable" if it does not regard viruses as a "national security issue" like the United States, the microbiologist who discovered Ebola said in an interview published Friday.

In Liberia, Ebola steals Christmas

Dec 26, 2014

The Ebola epidemic has cast a dark shadow over Christmas this year in Liberia, where small businesses are especially feeling the pinch.

Firm recalls caramel apples amid listeria fears

Dec 25, 2014

A Missouri firm is recalling its Happy Apple brand caramel apples because of the potential that they could be contaminated with listeria. The recall comes after at least three deaths and at least 29 illnesses in 10 states ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.