Procyrion, a company based in Houston, Texas, has developed and is working on bringing to market a new intra-aortic support pump that may help people with heart failure “reduce afterload, reduce workload of the heart, and increase end-organ perfusion,” according to the company. The device was originally envisioned by Dr. Reynolds M. Delgado, III, a cardiologist and Medical Director of Mechanical Support Devices in Heart Failure at the Texas Heart Institute. At 6mm in diameter, the Aortix device is narrower than a common pencil, and is delivered via a catheter in a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that takes about ten minutes to complete.
It features anchors that expand and grab onto the wall of the aorta, but that don’t impede the blood flow created by the heart. Instead of taking over the heart’s function, the Aortix pump assists the heart and helps blood perfuse the end organs. The device is expected to be used anywhere from a week up to six months and to be removed in another minimally invasive procedure. While installed, the pump is connected to a wire that is interfaced with an external power source.
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Compared to traditional LVADs, Procyrion replaces a major surgery and a lengthy hospital stay with an outpatient catheter procedure. Procyrion’s intra-aortic placement downstream of the carotid arteries effectively eliminates embolic stroke risk. The device’s small size and low power requirements will afford patients a high QoL during treatment and ultimately provide the ability to power the device wirelessly through the skin without any indwelling leads.
The Procyrion device has been successfully deployed, tested, and retrieved in vivo in large-animal heart failure models (n=10) and human cadaver studies across multiple investigator sites. Data from the large animal experiments confirms reduced cardiac load and cardiac oxygen consumption, improved ejection fraction and cardiac output, and increased renal perfusion and urine output. A subset of these results has been published in a peer-reviewed journal (ASAIO J. 2013 May-Jun;59(3): 240-5).