New Device Reduces Risk of Stroke

By PinnacleHealth System, Special for  USDR

One of the most common, and most serious, heart valve diseases is aortic stenosis. Left untreated, aortic stenosis gradually diminishes quality of life and leads to heart failure and death. The gold standard for treating aortic stenosis has been surgical aortic valve replacement; however, changes in cardiovascular medicine have led to a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure called transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, for patients deemed too high risk for surgery. Patients having either type of aortic valve replacement are at risk of brain injury that may range from memory loss and speech challenges to debilitating strokes. Through a clinical trial, patients at PinnacleHealth have access to an investigational device designed to reduce risk of stroke during  TAVR.

This international clinical trial, called REFLECT, studies the safety and efficacy of the Keystone Heart TriGuard™ cerebral embolic protection device to minimize the risk of cerebral damage during TAVR and other cardiovascular procedures.  TriGuard™ is designed to reduce the amount of embolic debris (pieces of calcium, blood clots, parts of vessel walls, etc. that may break off from your heart, valve, and/or blood vessels during heart procedures) from traveling through the blood stream to the brain for patients undergoing TAVR.  If this debris travels through the blood stream to the brain, it could possibly cause damage that may lead to a stroke or neurocognitive dysfunction, such as memory loss and speech  challenges.

“As physicians, we see firsthand the debilitating effects of brain injury following TAVR can have on our patients,” states Mubashir Mumtaz, MD, FACS, FACC, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, surgical director of structural heart and principal investigator for the trial at PinnacleHealth. “PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute is honored to be selected for this elite global trial, studying a major patient safety  initiative.”

“This device presents the opportunity to minimize brain injury following TAVR and supports our goal to preserve quality of life,” states Hemal Gada, MD, MBA, interventional cardiologist and medical director of structural heart at  PinnacleHealth.

The TriGuard™ device is shaped to accommodate anatomic variations of the aortic arch in order to provide full coverage to all brain territories.  It is placed via one of the femoral artery access ports typically used in TAVR, thereby eliminating the need for a third puncture  site.

PinnacleHealth is one of 27 hospital systems in the world, and the only hospital in Pennsylvania, enrolling patients in this  trial.

About PinnacleHealth  System
PinnacleHealth System has been a leading provider of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services in central Pennsylvania since 1873. The 627-bed system has three acute care hospitals (Community General Osteopathic, Harrisburg and West Shore Hospitals) on four campuses (Community, Harrisburg, Polyclinic and West Shore) serving a five-county service area and supporting rural hospitals through affiliations and telehealth services. PinnacleHealth pursues innovative treatment options for the region through cardiac and cancer clinical trials, while offering convenient community services including medical home-certified primary care, urgent care, Magnet-recognized nursing excellence, emergency services, imaging, high-volume maternity care and a level III NICU, and workplace-based wellness services. PinnacleHealth includes a CardioVascular Institute and Cancer Institute, as well as a Bone and Joint Institute, Neurosurgery and Neurosciences Institute, and Spine Care Center that combine a multi-disciplinary approach to comprehensive spine, bone, joint, orthopedic and sports medicine services. PinnacleHealth is recognized for high-quality care with national and regional recognitions for volumes, outcomes and safety. For more information, visit

SOURCE PinnacleHealth  System

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