NEWS | February 26, 2016

UC Davis reaches a milestone in treating heart valve disease

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

UC Davis cardiologists completed their 100th MitraClip case on Feb. 24, a milestone achieved by just a handful of hospitals nationwide. UC Davis Medical Center is the first to reach this mark in the Sacramento region.

The structural heart disease team at UC Davis celebrated their 100th MitraClip procedure. From left to right are Gagan Singh, Tom Smith, Alison Carroll and Jason Rogers.   The structural heart disease team at UC Davis celebrated their 100th MitraClip procedure. From left to right are Gagan Singh, Tom Smith, Alison Carroll and Jason Rogers.

Jason Rogers, director of interventional cardiology, and his colleagues first tested the device as part of a clinical trial in 2005. Since it was approved by the FDA in October 2013, they have continued to use it to treat mitral regurgitation. This condition occurs when the two mitral valve leaflets no longer properly close, allowing blood to flow backwards into the left atrium and decreasing blood flow to the body. The most common outcomes are severe fatigue, shortness of breath and, eventually, heart failure.

Delivered to the heart through a catheter inserted in the femoral vein in the groin, the tiny clip holds the leaflets together, eliminating leakage and restoring normal blood flow. The only other treatment option is open-heart surgery, which involves lengthier hospital stays and recovery times and may not be possible for some patients. The MitraClip is currently approved for those at high risk for conventional surgery.

“UC Davis is committed to making sure our patients have access to the most current and effective treatments for heart disease,” said Rogers. “This is not about us completing 100 successful procedures. It is about giving 100 patients a better quality of life.”

The structural heart disease team at UC Davis Health System offers the latest minimally invasive and percutaneous procedures to treat cardiac abnormalities caused by congenital defects or disease. The MitraClip team includes Rogers, cardiovascular medicine fellow Gagan Singh and chief of cardiovascular medicine Reginald Low. Additional team members include cardiac surgeons Douglas Boyd and J. Nilas Young, echocardiographers Thomas Smith and Dali Fan, and nurse coordinator Alison Carroll. A transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) team is led by cardiologist Jeffrey Southard. More information is at http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/heart.