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Press Release

St. Francis Leads Among Its Peers for MitraClip Use

10 May, 2021

(Above, George Petrossian, M.D., director of interventional cardiovascular procedures at St. Francis and co-director of the John Brancaccio Heart Valve Center.)

St. Francis Hospital is one of the busiest centers in the country for use of the MitraClip, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2013 for patients not eligible for open-heart surgery. Interventional cardiologists deliver the device through a minimally invasive catheter, which then secures part of the mitral valve leaflets with an implanted clip.

The MitraClip is ideal for patients who may have other medical problems that would rule out open-heart surgery. Patients report a reduction in symptoms and overall better quality of life, said Kristin Pasquarello, a physician assistant at St. Francis. In January, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services expanded coverage of the MitraClip to the treatment of functional mitral regurgitation using transcatheter edge-to-edge repair.

Based on more than 17 years of clinical and real-world MitraClip experience, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association have given a class 2A recommendation for use of the MitraClip in both primary and secondary mitral regurgitation patients.

St. Francis interventional cardiologists have now performed more than 250 MitraClip procedures, according to Pasquarello. There are plans to open a second location for the evaluation and procedures at the St. Francis Heart Valve Center to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip this year.

St. Francis also remains active in MitraClip-related trials, including the already-completed EVEREST and EVEREST II trials and the ongoing COAPT, CLASP IIDIIF, and the Repair MR trials, Pasquarello said.

“MitraClip has been recently shown to be the first therapy that improves survival in patients with severe functional mitral regurgitation while also allowing our patients to have a better quality of life and reduce the risk of hospitalizations for heart failure,” said George Petrossian, M.D., director of interventional cardiovascular procedures at St. Francis and co-director of the John Brancaccio Heart Valve Center.

The pioneering use of the MitraClip at St. Francis is part of the hospital’s strong heart valve program. In 2020, St. Francis became the 10th hospital in the United States to become a Heart Valve Center of Excellence as designated by the American College of Cardiology.

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