Occluded arteries, though dangerous, are now usually being managed using balloons and stents. Once opened, blood can flow unrestricted, and pressure upstream from the cleared occlusion naturally drops. This has its benefits, but it also creates a dangerous side effect for the heart: due to the lowered pressure, a region of the left ventricle may be underperfused, leading to serious tissue destruction.
Miracor Medical out of Vienna, Austria has announced that its PICSO coronary sinus occlusion system has been used for the first time under CE Mark in the UK. The system uses a balloon catheter that’s inserted into the coronary sinus. It’s inflated to temporarily block the vessel in order force the opening of smaller vessels in the left ventricle. Once it detects a pressure change consistent with the new perfusion state, the balloon automatically deflates to let blood pass through.
Here’s an animation from Miracor describing the functionality of the PICSO System:
Press release: Miracor’s PICSO® System is used for the first time under CE mark in UK to treat an acute heart attack (STEMI) patient
Link: PICSO technology page…
Flashback: By Blocking Coronary Sinus, Miracor’s PICSO System Targets Myocardial Blush; Gets CE Marked