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breakthrough in treating heart patients


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Burton Borrok
Burton Borrok
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  • breakthrough in treating heart patients

    Las Vegas Review Journal
    November 8, 2004
    Doctor’s hail simple mesh stocking as breakthrough in treating heart patients
    By Marilynn Marchione – The Associated Press

    New Orleans – Pantyhose for the heart?

    A polyester mesh stocking pulled up over the wide bottom of a weak heart can help it pump better and even shrink back to a more normal size, a study found.

    About 150 heart failure patients who got this novel and incredibly simple device felt better, were less likely to need heart transplants or other operations, and improved in other ways when compared with people who did not get the fabric wrap.

    “There was a 75% overall improvement. It is a sort of breakthrough technology,” said Dr. Douglas Mann, the Baylor College of Medicine cardiologist who led the study and reported results Sunday at an American Heart Association conference. “This does more then any existing therapy that’s out there today.” He said.

    Several experts said the surgically implanted stocking could fill a gap for people who are not helped by drugs or pacemakers and who do not want or cannot have a mechanical heart pump or an organ transplant.

    “We have little to offer surgically,” said Dr. Timothy Gardner, a heart surgeon from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia who had no role in the study. “There’s a lot interest in this kind of simple technique.”

    The heart wrap is still experimental, but it’s maker Acorn Cardiovascular Inc. of St. Paul, Minn., already has approval to sell it in Europe and will seek the same from the federal Food and Drug Administration early next year.

    The stretchy mesh device looks like fishnet hose but acts like support stockings and requires no batteries or moving parts. Once placed around the heart through an incision in the chest, the mesh sticks to it and becomes a permanent implant.

    Heart failure occurs when the heart is weak or damaged and can not pump effectively. It enlarges to accommodate the extra blood, and fluid can back up into the lungs, leaving people short of breath and tired all the time. Patients grow progressively weaker, and most live only about five years after diagnoses.

    About five million Americans have heart failure, and more then a million have the type of moderately severe disease that might be helped by the heart wrap. The company-sponsored study included 300 patients at 28 hospitals in the United States and one in Canada. One part involved 193 people having surgery to fix a leaky heart valve, a common problem in heart failure patients. Doctors gave 102 standard surgery; the other 91 received surgery plus the heart stocking.

    The second part of the study involved 107 people who did not need valve surgery. Fifty were given standard treatment drugs, such as ACE inhibiters, beta blockers and water pills, and the other 57 got drugs plus surgery to install the stocking.

    After an average of two years, 38% of the stocking group had improved compared with 27% of the others, according to a rating system including survival and other factors. About 37% with the stocking got worse compared to 45% of the others. Only 19 stocking recipients needed a transplant, a mechanical heart pump or other major heart operation, but 33 in the other group did.

    Researchers also measured changes in the hearts shape and size and found dramatic differences with the stocking. “These big hearts with this devise become small hearts.” And went from a basketball shape to the more natural football shape that lets them beat as they should, Mann said.

  • #2
    Re: breakthrough in treating heart patients

    I just saw a bit of this piece on the news....Lisa, anybody, any word for HCM patients????

    “These big hearts with this devise become small hearts.” And went from a basketball shape to the more natural football shape that lets them beat as they should, Mann said.
    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson


    • #3
      Re: breakthrough in treating heart patients

      Lisa is at the AHA conference where this information was presented. You can bet your bippy that she will have jumped on it as soon as it was presented, and will bring us back all the news available in relation to HCM patients.

      Remember it is still in the experimental stage, with the background study only covering a two year period. What will be the effect in five, ten or twenty years is still anybodies guess. I truly hope it will stand the test of time, but only time will answer that question.

      We are like horses in a steeple chase. We all want to be one of the first over the hurdles, but we’re not sure if there is solid ground on the other side, or a water hazard, or a big ugly mud hole. Patience is a virtue (even though it doesn’t always look like it.)


      • #4
        Re: breakthrough in treating heart patients

        I had heard of this several years ago , I believe it was something they were trying in Australia. I had asked my former cardiologist @ B &W's Hospital in Boston and he said no not for an HCM heart. He reminded me that hcm hearts are not that large but they are thick. They are often only slightly enlarged. We will have to see what Lisa finds out
        Dx @ 47 with HOCM & HF:11/00
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