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Format: 04/23/2014
Format: 04/23/2014


Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: AGH testing 'net' to stop failing hearts

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Allegheny General Hospital is one of more than 30 medical centers testing a new medical device that is wrapped around failing hearts to improve their function.

The HeartNet Ventricular Support System is made of an elastic nickel titanium mesh designed to reinforce the heart's walls to slow or stop dangerous enlargement. So far Allegheny General has enrolled four patients in a clinical trial that seeks to recruit 274 patients nationwide.

"We are excited about the promise of this new technology in that it addresses the needs of a large patient population with debilitating symptoms," Dr. Srinivas Murali, director of Allegheny General's Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, in a news release.

"The HeartNet implant is a unique, surgical approach to assisting the failing heart on a permanent basis for patients who are failing medical therapy."

More than 5 million Americans suffer from heart failure, according to the American Heart Association. It is the leading cause of hospital admissions in the United States and the leading cause of cardiovascular disability in Western Pennsylvania.

The HeartNet is particularly effective in a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy, where the heart becomes weakened and enlarged, reducing its ability to pump blood efficiently. Once diagnosed with the disease, less than 50 percent of patients live beyond five years, according to Allegheny General.

To read more, visit the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review web site.

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