A study comparing replacement heart valves made by Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW), St. Jude Medical (NYSE:STJ) and Sorin (BIT:SRN) showed that their anti-calcification coatings helped prolong device durability.
The 60-day study compared Sorin’s phospholipid reduction-treated Mitroflow PRT and Crown PRT, St. Jude’s LinxAC-coated Trifecta valve and Edwards’ ThermaFix-coated Perimount Magna valve with standard glutaraldehyde-treated valves, using pericardial tissue from the valves implanted subcutaneously in rats.
The control patches showed extensive calcification under X-ray, according to the study, and the 3 experimental groups "did not differ significantly."
"Remarkable is the large variation in calcium accumulation in the patches without anti-calcification treatment, but not in the treated ones," according to the study, which was presented last March at the European Society for Cardiovascular & Endovascular Surgery’s annual meeting in Istanbul.
"Current anti-calcification treatments after glutaraldehyde fixation of pericardial patches reduce calcium accumulation predictably when implanted in a subcutaneous rat model. This allows a more accurate prediction of the durability of a bioprosthesis, potentially reducing the degree of uncertainty in patient counseling before the operation," according to the study.
"This animal model study further strengthens our confidence that anti-calcification technologies are crucial to enhance valve durability and it also reinforces the message that surgeons play a key role in mitigating the risk of valve degeneration by minimizing patient-prosthesis mismatch and using tissue-treated technologies," Dr. Paul Herijgers of Belgium’s University of Leuven, who presented the results at the conference, said in prepared remarks.