Medtronic announced that its Export Advance aspiration catheter received the CE Mark and will soon be available in Europe. The device is used for thrombus removal, a time sensitive procedure that requires quick access to the site of the obstruction.
The Export Advance features a metal core running down the shaft that prevents the catheter from kinking and improves pushability when navigating to the target. The wrapping, meanwhile, is made using something called “full-wall variable braiding technology” that “provides variable levels of stiffness along the length of the device to enhance flexibility and pushability,” according to the company.
Use of aspiration has dramatically increased worldwide since 2008 when The New England Journal of Medicine published results of a randomized clinical trial called TAPAS (“Thrombus Aspiration during Percutaneous coronary intervention in Acute myocardial infarction Study”). Conducted at University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands and involving nearly 1,100 subjects, TAPAS showed that patients treated with the Export family of aspiration catheters prior to coronary stenting demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in cardiac death at one year compared to those who did not receive aspiration.
TASTE (Thrombus Aspiration in Myocardial Infarction) is a more recent study of aspiration. Involving approximately 25 sites in Scandanavia (Denmark, Iceland and Sweden), it randomized more than 7,200 heart attack patients to receive conventional percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with or without manual aspiration thrombectomy and has a primary endpoint of time to all-cause mortality at 30 days. Export aspiration catheters were among the devices used in the TASTE trial, which Medtronic supported with an unrestricted research grant. Results from this study will likely be presented later this year.