MedStar Health Gives Infiltrative Cardiomyopathy Patients New Hope for Life

BALTIMORE—MedStar Health Heart and Vascular Institute has launched a program at MedStar Union Memorial and MedStar Good Samaritan hospitals to diagnose, treat and research two life-threatening heart conditions that often go unrecognized, and is developing the program into a nationally-recognized center of excellence that has no peer in the region.

The two conditions – cardiac amyloidosis and cardiac sarcoidosis – are known as infiltrative cardiomyopathies, in which the heart collects deposits of abnormal substances. In cardiac amyloidosis, abnormal components of proteins called amyloid collect in the heart and cause it to become thick and stiff. In cardiac sarcoidosis, clusters of white blood cells called granulomas accumulate within the heart. Both can lead to heart failure, arrythmias, and even sudden death.

MedStar Health is launching the program as new advances in medical imaging, technology and treatments have made diagnosing and treating the conditions easier. Both conditions often go undiagnosed for too long, and MedStar Health heart experts intend to expand care to more patients and catch their diseases earlier.

“Cardiac amyloidosis and sarcoidosis have historically been diseases associated with a poor prognosis,” said Farooq Sheikh, MD, FACC, a heart failure expert who is leading MedStar Health’s infiltrative cardiomyopathy program. “With new medical advances, the chances for improved outcomes for patients with these diseases has never been brighter. Through the MedStar Health program, patients have access to top specialists, the latest technology and a full complement of treatments including clinical trials, LVAD therapy and cardiac transplantations.”

Dr. Sheikh will start seeing patients at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in January 2020. The program will also draw on the expertise of other nationally-recognized heart leaders including George Ruiz, MD, chief of cardiology at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, and Sandeep Jani, MD, the associate director of advanced heart failure and population health at MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute in the Baltimore region.

Once thought to be rare, heart and vascular experts are increasingly recognizing cardiac amyloidosis as a cause of heart failure. The hard, misfolded proteins involved – amyloid – are also implicated in brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Its symptoms – shortness of breath, fatigue and palpitations – can mimic other conditions. Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a drug called Tafamidis to treat cardiac amyloidosis due to transthyretin (TTR) deposition. Two additional drugs, called patisiran and inotersen, have been approved to treat hereditary amyloidosis complicated by polyneuropathy. These drug developments have given experts new tools against forms of the disease. Several clinical trials are upcoming.

Sarcoidosis is a systemic disease that can affect multiple organs, including the heart. Recently, experts have recognized that the way sarcoidosis affects the heart is an underrecognized cause of heart failure. The disease’s heart involvement is “silent” in almost all cases, leading to underdiagnosis. Newer treatment options include non-steroid immunosuppressive therapies and implantable cardiac defibrillators.

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About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
Office: 410-554-2496
Cell: 410-274-1260
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569 
[email protected]

MedStar Electrophysiologist Paves Way for Safer Pacemaker Implants

New Algorithm May Aid in Adoption of Better Heart Pacing Method

BALTIMORE—(February 15, 2019)—An algorithm created by cardiac electrophysiologist Aditya Saini, MD, of MedStar Heart and Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, may pave the way for a superior method of installing pacemakers to become more widely adopted around the world.

In an article published in the medical journal Circulation- Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology released last week, Dr. Saini proposes an algorithm that solves a practical barrier to the adoption of a method of pacemaker installation, known as His bundle pacing (HBP). His bundle pacing takes advantage of the natural conduction fibers to pace the heart, allowing a coordinated and perfectly timed contraction of the heart, as opposed to traditional pacing, which simply paces from one spot in the heart, leading to an uncoordinated contraction. This electrically coordinated- or synchronized- contraction makes all the difference when it comes to mechanical properties of the heart pump.

Recent studies have found HBP to be a safe, feasible and superior pacing technique, reducing the combined endpoint of death, hospitalizations for heart failure or need for future pacemaker upgrades when compared to traditional cardiac pacing.

However, HBP increases the complexity of routine patient follow-up, adding time and effort and disrupting busy clinics because lengthy device interrogations are needed while correlating them with simultaneously recorded electrocardiograms (ECGs). Moreover, no existing device algorithms specific to HBP can accurately diagnose device malfunction or guide adjustment of pacemaker settings, making remote monitoring of patients challenging.

The algorithm, which was developed as part of a multicenter effort and in collaboration with Medtronic, which manufactures His Bundle Pacemakers, can be incorporated into the devices. It can also be used immediately in clinics, allowing doctors to ensure the devices are performing properly –even without an EKG. When the algorithm is incorporated into the devices, doctors can monitor patients remotely and accurately diagnose and treat potential pacemaker problems. The application of the algorithm may help make patient follow-up safe and efficient, removing a principal obstacle to widespread adoption of HBP.

“As His Bundle Pacing becomes prime time, there were certain challenges, including the time-consuming and cumbersome nature of the follow up,” said Dr. Saini, who is the first author on the Circulation article. “Those challenges definitely acted as a barrier for His Bundle Pacing to become widely adopted. This study is the first novel step toward an algorithm that can resolve those issues.”

Pacemakers control slow heart rhythms by generating electric currents. The traditional device is implanted in the chest and sends current through wires embedded in the upper and lower chambers of the heart. With a His Bundle pacemaker, one of the wires that would normally be implanted in the right ventricle (lower chamber) of the heart is implanted into the bundle of His, a collection of cells which are part of the normal electrical wiring of the heart.

With a traditional pacemaker, the constant electrical current can cause the heart to wear out, resulting in heart failure and also increase risk of development of atrial fibrillation. His Bundle Pacing, by comparison, results in a more natural method of restoring regular heart rhythm by essentially ‘rewiring the heart’ .

“The electrical activation is natural, and in the ideal case can look exactly like it would without a pacemaker,” Dr. Saini said. “It should not give you heart failure that can develop with a traditional pacemaker, and is also a superior pacemaker if you already have heart failure.”

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About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

 

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is First in State to Offer New Self Expanding Aortic Valve

Advanced Technology Offers Hope to Qualified Patients Needing Replacement

sentera-aortic-replacement-valve-002

BALTIMORE— Dr. John Wang, chief of the cardiac catheterization lab, and his team at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, used a revolutionary new self-expanding aortic replacement valve in the hearts of two women, each suffering from severe aortic valve stenosis. The women became the first in the Maryland to receive the Centera transcatheter aortic valve which only became available in the United States for the treatment of intermediate surgical-risk patients through the EXCEED clinical trial in October. The Centera valve was approved in Europe last February.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center in DC, a sister hospital of MedStar Union Memorial, has successfully implanted eight of the new valves. Combined with today’s two implants, MedStar Health can account for nearly a third of the total implants of this new technology in the U.S.

“We are extremely excited to be able to offer this novel technology to our patients,” said Dr. Wang, an industry leader in cardiac catheterizations. “It is yet another example of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital being on the cutting edge of cardiac care and offering tomorrow’s technology today.”

The Edwards Centera valve is a novel repositionable and retrievable self-expanding valve that is deployed with a motorized handle. It comes packaged with the valve fully pre-attached to the delivery system, which simplifies and expedites device preparation.

Aortic stenosis is one of the most common valve problems and severe cases can be life threatening. The result of it causes a narrowing of the aortic valve opening, restricting blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. Valve replacement surgery has been the standard of care for patients with symptoms that include breathlessness, chest pain, pressure, fainting, palpitations, lethargy and a heart murmur.

Patients with aortic stenosis should discuss with their doctor whether they qualify for the Centera valve as part of the EXCEED clinical trial.

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About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service.

For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

MedStar Health to Host Innovative Approaches To Heart Care Webcast

BALTIMORE—(June 26, 2018)—MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute will host the Innovative Approaches To Heart Care webcast on Wednesday, June 27 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Hosted by WBAL TV 11 News’ Megan Pringle, the forum will be broadcast on Facebook Live and feature top cardiovascular doctors and surgeons.

Viewers and audience members will hear from Drs. John Wang, Nauman Siddiqi and Antony Kaliyadan about cardiac catheterization performed through the wrist, or transradially, and why it is safer and more comfortable than traditional catheterization performed by accessing arteries through the groin. The audience will hear from a patient who had both a traditional cardiac catheterization and a transradial cardiac catheterization, who is in a unique position to compare the two approaches.

In the second part of the webcast, beginning at 7:35 p.m., Drs. Michael Fiocco and John Wang will discuss structural issues of the heart, focusing on conditions such as valve disease and aortic stenosis.

The event will be streamed from MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s transradial recovery lounge, a comfortable waiting area with snacks and entertainment for patients who have undergone a transradial cardiac catheterization. The lounge opened in September 2017. The webcast will offer viewers the chance to see the lounge, which looks more like a hotel lobby rather than a hospital recovery area.

Nearly 90 percent of MedStar Union Memorial Hospital’s cardiac catheterization procedures are done transradially, a rate that leads the Mid-Atlantic region and is more than twice as high as the national average. The transradial approach to cardiac catheterization was first performed at MedStar Union Memorial in 2010 when Dr. John Wang became the first physician in the state to widely adopt this advanced technique.

To participate in the webcast, viewers can log on to MedStarHeart.org/Webcast to watch streaming video and chat live with the experts. Participants also can follow the event on Facebook and on Twitter, by using the hashtag #AskMedStar.

Meet the panelists:

John Wang, MD, MSc, FACC, FSCAI: Dr. Wang is chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He specializes in complex angioplasty, chronic total occlusions, and trans-radial cardiac catheterizations. Dr. Wang is board-certified in Interventional Cardiology, Cardiovascular Disease, and Internal Medicine. Widely published in his field, Dr. Wang has been principal investigator or sub-investigator on more than 20 studies.

Nauman Siddiqi, MD, FSCAI, FACC: Dr. Siddiqi is an interventional cardiologist who holds two board certifications in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology. He is fellowship trained in interventional cardiology and cardiology and holds a masters degree in epidemiology. His professional interests include aortic and mitral valvuloplasty; transcatheter aortic valve replacement; the WATCHMAN device implantation, transradial cardiac catheterization; percutaneous coronary intervention, inclusive of pericardiocentesis; atrial septal defect; and patent foramen ovale closure, myocardial biopsy, and rotational atherectomy.

Antony Kaliyadan, MD: Dr. Kaliyadan is a fellowship-trained interventional cardiologist who holds certifications in cardiovascular disease, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and vascular imaging. Dr. Kaliyadan's interests and expertise includes complex coronary interventions, atherectomy, coronary imaging, and circulatory support devices. He also has a special interest in peripheral interventions and structural heart procedures including TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement), PFO (patent foramen ovale) closure, ASD (atrial septal defect) closure, mitral valvuloplasty, etc.

Michael Fiocco, MD: Dr. Fiocco is chief of cardiovascular surgery at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He is board certified in cardiac, general and thoracic surgery. Dr. Fiocco specializes in providing care for people with artery disease, valvular disease, and aortic aneurysm. His heart care expertise has earned him recognition by Baltimore magazine as a Top Doctor in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2017. Dr. Fiocco and his team specialize in beating heart surgery, which allows surgeons to operate without temporarily stopping the heart during surgery. This type of surgery helps reduce complications that can occur when the heart is stopped.

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-1260
[email protected]


Carrie Wells
Media Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute Transforms Patient Experience

BALTIMORE—(October 9, 2017) — In the newly opened radial lounge at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, John Lurz is sitting comfortably in a chair with his wife, eating a sandwich and fresh fruit, holding a book in his lap. Wearing khakis and a button down shirt, a small wrist band is the only hint that an hour earlier, John underwent a procedure that opened a potentially lethal coronary blockage.

The scene underscores MedStar Union Memorial’s leadership in interventional cardiology, and its progressive shift toward safer and more comfortable cardiac catheterizations. To be specific, accessing the coronary arteries through the wrist, known as the transradial approach, rather than the traditional access through the femoral artery in the groin, virtually eliminates the risk of major bleeding.

This transradial approach to cardiac catheterization was first performed at MedStar Union Memorial in 2010 when the chief of it’s catheterization lab, Dr. John Wang, became the first physician in the state to widely adopt this advanced technique. Since then, nearly 90-percent of the hospital’s cardiac catheterization procedures are done transradially, a rate that leads the Mid-Atlantic region and is more than twice as high as the national average.

The radial lounge is a stark contrast to what currently exists in traditional cardiac catheterization recovery units, where patients must lie flat for up to six hours.  In addition, walking or sitting up to eat, are prohibited because of the risks associated with the standard approach to catheterization procedures. 

“I think the radial lounge will change the way patients see their care,” said Dr. Wang. “We can do the most complex procedures radially, and the patients can be in a comfortable and relaxing space, with their family or friends, and have an infinitely better experience with peace of mind knowing our outcomes are stellar.”

An angiogram performed in the Medstar Union Memorial cath lab revealed a blockage in the main blood vessel that feeds the front of John Lurz’s heart. The critical blockage is known as the ‘widowmaker’- so named because of its predictive implications. Dr. Wang inserted a tiny catheter through John’s wrist, to access the blockage, and placed a mesh stent to clear the blockage.

“An hour later,” said Lurz, “my wife helped me get dressed and we were able to pick something to eat from right there in the lounge. Being in the lounge was very positive. My wife and I sat in front of a coffee table with comfortable chairs and the food was delicious. I didn’t feel like I was a patient.  Being in the lounge really de-stressed the entire experience for me.”

For more information about the transradial lounge at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, go to: MedStarUnionMemorial.org/RadialLounge

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contacts

Debra Schindler
Regional Director, Media & Public Relations, MedStar Health Baltimore
410-274-2496
[email protected]

Carrie Wells
Public Relations Specialist, MedStar Health Baltimore
443-613-1569
[email protected]

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute Offers Patients World’s Smallest Pacemaker

BALTIMORE, Md – [March 13, 2017]  The MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is now offering the Micra trans-catheter pacing system (TPS), the world’s smallest and most advanced pacemaker available, to patients with bradycardia and other single chamber cardiac rhythm disorders.  Drs. Glenn Meininger and David Schamp first used the wireless device last week when they implanted the vitamin-sized pacemaker directly into a patient’s heart.

Weighing the same as a penny, TPS is one tenth of the size of standard pacemakers.  

Dr. Meininger, medical director of the electrophysiological program for the Baltimore region, implanted the device by inserting a wire catheter through a small incision in the groin and threading the TPS through the femoral artery, into the right ventricle of the patient’s heart.  The fully miniaturized pacemaker is self-contained with a battery, and attaches to the heart with small tines.  By comparison, a standard pacemaker is surgically implanted under the collar bone, or sewn into a pocket flap of skin. It attaches to the heart with electrode wires that run through the chest’s venous system to the device. 

“This little device is quite sophisticated in its design,” said Dr. Meininger. “Because it’s implanted minimally invasively, there’s significantly less risk of complications or infection.  It’s cosmetically invisible- no surgical scar, and the patient can be active almost immediately after its implanted.  This is truly an exciting advancement in cardiac rhythm pacing therapy, and I am happy to be able to offer the option to our patients.”

Like a standard pacemaker, TPS sends electrical impulses to the heart to help restore a normal heart rhythm to patients suffering bradycardia, a slow heart rhythm.  Bradycardia impedes the heart’s ability to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells

The Micra TPS has a 12-year battery and is designed to be retrievable.

For more information on the Micra pacemaker at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, go to www.medstarheart.org/smallestpacemaker.

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation, and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

Media Contact:

Debra Schindler
[email protected]
410-274-1260

MedStar Union Memorial to Investigate Alternative to Open Heart Valve Surgery

BALTIMORE, MD (February 15, 2017) — MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is one of only 80 cardiac centers in the world, selected by the industry to participate in a study of an alternative treatment option for surgical aortic valve replacement. The study will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the transcatheter approach to replacing the aortic valve, known as TAVR, in treating low-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis.

An estimated 2.5 million people over the age of 75 suffer with aortic stenosis, caused by calcium build-up in the aortic valve. The result is a narrowing in the valve which prevents it from opening and closing properly, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. The reduced blood flow increases pressure within the heart, causing the heart to weaken and function poorly.

“Replacing the aortic valve during open heart surgery has been a gold standard in treating aortic stenosis,” said Dr. John Wang, Chief of the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at MedStar Union Memorial and Scientific Director for Baltimore Cardiovascular Research. “However, during a TAVR procedure, we can replace the diseased aortic valve using a catheter, through a small incision in the groin. The heart remains beating. The study will allow us to examine if this option is best for patients who are at a lower risk who could safely undergo the surgical replacement.”

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a regional leader in performing TAVR procedures, having done over 300 of these since it was first introduced in 2012. Presently, the technology is approved only for patients who are high- or intermediate-risk for the surgical replacement of their aortic valve.

The study, which is supported by the MedStar Health Research Institute, will include up to 1200 patients and follow up for up to 10 years.

Learn more about aortic stenosis and the study, by visiting MedStarUnionMemorial.org/lowriskTAVR.

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations. MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Phone: 410-274-1260
Email:[email protected]

MAJOR MILESTONE: MEDSTAR HEART & VASCULAR INSTITUTE PERFORMS 100TH WATCHMAN PROCEDURE

Baltimore, Md., January 26, 2017 – June Kraft of Perry Hall, Md., became a high stroke risk when she stopped taking daily blood thinners because of colitis. But thanks to WATCHMAN™, a stroke-reducing device that she received last year at MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, she’s off the drugs, and she no longer suffers from the side effects caused by the blood thinners.

Currently, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C., offer the device to patients who have atrial fibrillation (A-fib), an abnormal heart rhythm that causes a fast and erratic heartbeat. The two facilities have performed a total of 100 procedures since the WATCHMAN was FDA-approved in March 2015, more than any other institution from Delaware to South Carolina to date.

WATCHMAN is designed for certain patients with A-fib who are at high risk for both stroke and bleeding from long-term use of blood thinners. WATCHMAN is implanted like a heart stent, by means of a narrow tube inserted through a small incision in the upper leg. Essentially a mesh filter, it closes off the left atrial appendage (LAA), the small sub-chamber in the heart responsible for formation of harmful blood clots. By closing off the LAA, the risk of stroke is reduced, and after 45 days, patients may be able to stop taking blood-thinning medication altogether.

“Twenty percent of all strokes occur in patients with A-fib, and A-fib-related strokes are more frequently fatal and disabling,” said cardiac electrophysiologist Manish Shah, MD, director, Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship Training Program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “For patients seeking an alternative to blood-thinning medicine such as warfarin, the WATCHMAN offers a potentially life-changing stroke risk treatment option, freeing them from the prolonged use of warfarin therapy.”

On the research front, several clinical trials are underway, exploring alternative devices for closure of the left atrial appendage. “The fact that we’ll have these studies running concurrently is a testament to MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute’s great research infrastructure and safety record that’ll benefit patients,” added John Wang, MD, chief of Cardiovascular Catheterization Lab at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital.

If the trials are successful, the new devices could fulfill a unique niche, and expand the number of patients who may be eligible for implant in the future. 

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit, 223-bed acute care teaching hospital with a strong emphasis on cardiac care, orthopaedics and sports medicine. With roots stemming back to 1854, MedStar Union Memorial has provided high quality care for 160 years. As one of the region's top specialty hospitals, MedStar Union Memorial is home to: The Curtis National Hand Center, the only hand center designated by Congress as The National Center for the Treatment of Hand and Upper Extremity; MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute, a premier cardiovascular program in the mid-Atlantic, aligned with Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute, the nation’s #1 heart program; and MedStar Union Memorial Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, the oldest hospital based Sports Medicine Program in Maryland (founded in 1979).  In addition, MedStar Union Memorial offers a comprehensive range of inpatient and outpatient services including oncology, diabetes and endocrinology, general surgery, thoracic surgery, vascular surgery and palliative care. For more information, visit MedStarUnionMemorial.org.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

 

 

Media Contact

 Debra Schindler
 410-274-1260
[email protected]

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute Replaces Aortic Valve Via Catheter

BALTIMORE, MD (January 18, 2017) — For the first time in Maryland, a patient at low mortality risk to have open heart surgery, underwent an alternative approach to aortic valve replacement known as Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement, or TAVR, when Dr. John Wang and his team at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital replaced a man’s heart valve through a small flexible catheter placed in the groin.

As a regional TAVR leader with stellar results, MedStar Union Memorial was selected as one of 80 cardiac centers around the world, to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the transcatheter approach to replacing the aortic valve in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are low risk for traditional open heart surgery. The 78-year old man is the first patient in the state of Maryland to receive the heart valve as part of this clinical trial.

An estimated 2.5 million people over the age of 75, suffer with aortic stenosis, caused by calcium build-up in the aortic valve. The result is a narrowing in the valve which prevents it from opening and closing properly, forcing the heart to work harder to pump blood throughout the body. The reduced blood flow increases pressure within the heart, causing the heart to weaken and function poorly.

“Replacing the aortic valve with heart surgery has been the gold standard in treating low risk patients with aortic stenosis,” said Dr. Wang. “However, during a TAVR procedure, we can replace the diseased aortic valve by inserting a new one through a catheter placed in the groin. The heart remains beating and the results have been excellent. The study will allow us to determine if this less invasive option is best for patients who are at low risk for traditional open heart surgery.”

Learn more about aortic stenosis and our heart valve program.

 

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

 

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Cardiovascular Research Network

The MedStar Cardiovascular Research Network (MCRN), comprised of scientists, senior cardiovascular investigators, cardiovascular physicians, research nurses, technicians, and staff dedicated to advancing cardiovascular care through research, is responsible for coordinating and performing cardiovascular research within the MedStar Health Research Institute (MHRI), the research arm of MedStar Health.
Based at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, the network draws on MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute’s enormous patient experience, which includes more than 18,000 catheterizations, 5,000 percutaneous interventional procedures, and 1,800 open-heart procedures per year.

 About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

 

 

Media Contact:

Debra Schindler     
Phone: 410-274-2496
Email:  [email protected]

Dr. Raghuveer Vallabhaneni Joins MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Will Lead Baltimore MedStar Hospitals as Director of Vascular Surgeryvallabhaneni-press-release

BALTIMORE—(November 30, 2016) —Raghuveer Vallabhaneni, MD, FACS,  joins the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute (MHVI) at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, as Director of Vascular Surgery-Baltimore, bringing specialized expertise and a national reputation for treating complex aortic disease to the Baltimore region of the state’s largest healthcare provider.

In this newly designed role, Dr. Vallabhaneni will collaborate with MHVI leadership to develop the vascular programs at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan, MedStar Harbor and MedStar Union Memorial. He’ll report directly to Dr. Edward Woo, Director, MedStar Vascular Surgery, in a system effort to provide seamless and accessible vascular care for patients.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Vallabhaneni join our team,” said Dr. Woo. “He brings expertise in treating complex vascular disorders to the Baltimore region.”

Fellowship trained in vascular surgery, he is also board certified in both vascular and general surgery. Dr. Vallabhaneni is experienced in all forms of minimally-invasive and open endovascular surgery, as well as the medical management of vascular issues.

“Dr. Vallabhaneni is able to offer patients a full range of available diagnostic and treatment options,” said Stuart F. Seides, MD, physician executive director, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute.  “We are very proud to bring his leadership to our communities. His research interests focus on patient outcomes, patient safety and quality care. His leadership on numerous clinical trials, and knowledge of the spectrum of treatment modalities, speak to the commitment we’ve made to provide the most in comprehensive cardiac care.” 

Dr. Vallabhaneni trained in general surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he also completed a research fellowship, followed by a clinical vascular surgery fellowship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

Most recently, Dr. Vallabhaneni served on the faculty at the University of North Carolina, where he co-directed the complex aortic program.

Dr. Vallabhaneni is published widely, including book chapters and peer-reviewed articles, and has been an invited speaker at both regional and national vascular surgery conferences.

About the MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute is a network of highly acclaimed and nationally recognized cardiac experts and care programs spanning all 10 MedStar Health hospitals in the mid-Atlantic region. In the Baltimore area, MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute experts are accessible at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital, MedStar Harbor Hospital, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, and more than a dozen community locations.  MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital is allied with the Cleveland Clinic, the nation’s #1 heart program, giving patients accelerated access to the most advanced research, technologies and techniques in cardiology and cardiac surgery. This alliance also strengthens excellent clinical care and enables high-level collaboration on research.

About MedStar Health

MedStar Health is a not-for-profit health system dedicated to caring for people in Maryland and the Washington, D.C., region, while advancing the practice of medicine through education, innovation and research. MedStar’s 30,000 associates, 6,000 affiliated physicians, 10 hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care centers, and the MedStar Health Research Institute are recognized regionally and nationally for excellence in medical care. As the medical education and clinical partner of Georgetown University, MedStar trains more than 1,100 medical residents annually. MedStar Health’s patient-first philosophy combines care, compassion and clinical excellence with an emphasis on customer service. For more information, visit MedStarHealth.org.

 

Media Contact

Debra Schindler
Phone: 410-274-2496
Email:  [email protected]