COAPT Trial Provides Minimally Invasive Solution for Patients with Mitral Valve Regurgitation

For immediate release: October 14, 2014


Media Relations


New “Clip” Options for Patients with Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Until recently, high-risk heart patients with a severe form of leaky mitral valve disorder called mitral regurgitation (MR) had few treatment choices. Now, as part of the continuing evolution of cardiac disease treatments, the University of Maryland Heart and Vascular Center offers these patients a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure that uses a clip to repair the leakage.

The Heart and Vascular Center’s clip procedure is aimed at two types of MR patients. One group, with degenerative MR—too sick to undergo conventional heart surgery because of severe mitral valve structural defects—can undergo a procedure to receive a clip that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. The second group of patients may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial, called COAPT, evaluating the clip in patients with functional MR. These are patients whose valve structure is normal, but whose MR is related to an enlarged heart and heart failure.

James Gammie, M.D., professor of surgery and chief, division of cardiac surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and co-director, University of Maryland Heart and Vascular Center who is co-principal investigator of the COAPT study at the University of Maryland, says this minimally invasive mitral valve repair approach fits in with two goals of the University of Maryland Heart and Vascular Center when it comes to correcting mitral valve problems: “This procedure allows us to fix a damaged mitral valve rather than replace it, which research has shown is more effective. There’s better function of heart muscle over the long term and the risks of stroke, bleeding, infection and death during the procedure are much lower compared to mitral valve replacement,” says Gammie. At the University of Maryland Heart and Vascular Center, 96 percent of mitral valve patients with degenerative mitral regurgitation undergo repair rather than replacement.

Continue reading about the COAPT trial.