Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation Advances Knowledge and Treatment Options for Patients with Aortic Regurgitation

First Patient Offered Minimally Invasive Transcatheter Technology to Address Debilitating Aortic Regurgitation
Aug 3, 2022
Drs. Sorajja, Cavalcante, Bapat and Bae

Original MHIF Research Published in JAMA Cardiology Defines Important Role for Advanced Cardiac imaging in Managing Aortic Regurgitation Patients

MINNEAPOLIS – Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) announced its first enrollment in The ALIGN-AR Study, a clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of a new, minimally invasive transcatheter technology to address severe, symptomatic aortic regurgitation (AR). In this study, a transcatheter aortic valve replacement is performed using the JenaValve Trilogy® Heart Valve System for patients who are out of options for this debilitating condition. MHIF is a leader in transcatheter valve therapy across all heart valves and is the only clinical site in Minnesota offering the new technology to patients through this research study. Today’s announcement coincides with the publication of original MHIF research in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Cardiology focused on defining the use of advanced cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in the management of patients with AR.

“Our multi-disciplinary team is committed to advancing treatment options for all heart valves and this current research for AR is addressing an area where there is significant clinical need to advance knowledge, care and outcomes for patients,” said Paul Sorajja, MD, Roger L. and Lynn C. Headrick Family Chair at the MHIF Valve Science Center. “We are excited to utilize our expertise in transcatheter technologies and offer a promising new technology to patients who are out of options. We are also proud of our team’s contribution to defining the beneficial role of advanced imaging in this patient population.” 

AR occurs when a patient’s aortic valve does not completely close, allowing reversal of blood flow from the aorta back into the left ventricle, which overtime continues to enlarge. This condition has been traditionally monitored by echocardiography which tracks the progressive enlargement before an eventual decision to fix the valve. The significant enlargement of the main chamber impacts the quality of life and leads to heart failure. Patients with this condition who are at high surgical risk and not candidates for open-heart surgery have limited options for treatment. 

The publication, “Association of Left Ventricular Remodeling Assessment by Cardiac Magnetic Resonance With Outcomes in Patients With Chronic Aortic Regurgitation,” shares perspective on the benefits of advanced imaging capabilities in the management of patients who are at greater risk from AR. The research underscores the knowledge gap of current valvular guidelines by highlighting the importance of advanced cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) in the clinical evaluation and risk stratification of AR patients. Specifically, the use of advanced imaging revealed greater understanding of severity left ventricular remodeling and AR which correlated with the progression of heart failure symptoms, and more importantly increased risk of death. 

“Our team has invested heavily in clinical research to increase the understanding and define the beneficial role of advanced imaging in the care of patients with heart valve disease,” said João Cavalcante, MD, scientific director, MHIF Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center and Core Lab, a state-of-the-art academic CMR imaging and computerized tomography (CT) imaging laboratory. “We are proud to see this original research published in a top tier cardiovascular journal, highlighting the capabilities of levering collaborative research within our health system, for greater understanding of the magnitude and severity of the problem and opportunity to improve patient care. What we saw is that monitoring patients with echocardiography and using guideline-recommended thresholds comes at a greater cost to the patients. We should have a low threshold for cardiac MRI to improve the diagnosis, management and care for of patients with AR.”

About the MHIF Valve Science Center
The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) leads the world in minimally invasive, heart valve repair and replacement. These technologies repair and replace diseased heart valves - aortic, mitral, pulmonary, and tricuspid – through peripheral vessels or small incisions. The early recovery allows most patients to go home the day after the procedure and quickly resume their lives. The MHIF Valve Science Center is a multidisciplinary team of world-renowned physicians across multiple specialties, including interventional cardiologists, advanced imaging specialists, specialty nurses, research scholars and cardiac surgeons. 

About Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation®
The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) strives to create a world without heart and vascular disease. To achieve this bold vision, it is dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education. 

Scientific Innovation and Research – MHIF is a recognized leader across all specialties of heart and vascular research. Each year, MHIF leads more than 200 research studies with more than 2,200 patients and publishes more than 250 articles to share learnings from research. MHIF research has improved the standard of care around the world through protocols like Level One for heart attack, which significantly improved outcomes and survival for patients. 

Education and Outreach – MHIF provides more than 11,000 hours of education each year putting its research into practice to improve outcomes among health care providers. This commitment extends to patients and caregivers through a number of community health and education events to raise awareness of heart care and research, engaging individuals in their own health. 

The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation’s work is funded by generous donors and sponsors and engages in cutting-edge research initiatives with its physician partners from the Allina Health Minneapolis Heart Institute® at Abbott Northwestern Hospital and at 38 community sites across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For more information, please visit mplsheart.org.

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JenaValve Trilogy® Heart Valve System is a registered trademark of JenaValve Technology, Inc.

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The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation® (MHIF) strives to create a world without heart and vascular disease. To achieve this bold vision, we are dedicated to improving the cardiovascular health of individuals and communities through innovative research and education.

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Heart disease is the #1 cause of death of men and women, claiming the lives of 700,000 people annually; our fathers and mothers; our friends and loved-ones.

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