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Cardiologists at Henry Ford Are First in U.S. to Implant Aortix Heart Pump to Treat Heart Failure

June 7, 2021 – Cardiologists at Henry Ford Hospital are first in the U.S. and second in the world to implant a circulatory support device that is being investigated in a clinical trial for patients hospitalized with acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF) and worsening kidney function, a condition known as cardio-renal syndrome.

The Aortix System from Procyrion Inc. is an intra-aortic axial flow pump, which is deployed via a femoral catheter to the descending aorta to offer hemodynamic support. This tiny pump, thinner than the size of a #2 pencil, is designed to relieve some of the heart’s workload, allowing the heart to recover while more effectively pushing blood flow to the kidneys.

The heart pump is being evaluated in a multi-site clinical trial in the United States and Australia. Henry Ford is the only U.S. site involved in the trial.

“When a patient is suffering from ADHF, the amount of blood the heart pumps to the kidneys may be insufficient for the kidneys to work at full capacity,” said Gillian Grafton, D.O., an advanced heart failure and critical care cardiologist, and co-principal investigator of the trial at Henry Ford. “The kidneys are responsible for maintaining the fluid balance that keeps heart failure congestion in check. Heart failure by itself is a chronic and progressive condition, but the additional complication of reduced kidney function can significantly worsen a patient’s condition.”

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