Penrose-St. Francis Implants Newly Approved Device to Replace Failing Aortic Heart Valves

(Colorado Springs, Colo.) - Penrose-St. Francis Health Services recently became the first hospital in Colorado to adopt a new minimally invasive medical device to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis who are too ill or frail to have their aortic valves replaced trough traditional open-heart surgery. These patients have a 50 percent risk of death at one year unless they are treated.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the CoreValve System due to its positive clinical performance in a U.S. clinical study. It had low rates of common complications such as stroke and valve leakage which have a dramatic impact on patients quality of life.

With age, a heart valve can become stenotic, or narrowed, preventing it from properly opening and closing, which diminishes blood flow between the heart and the rest of the body. This causes the heart to weaken and function poorly; this condition is called aortic stenosis. Symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, chest pain/pressure, shortness of breath during activity, heart palpitations and fainting. Approximately one-third of patients who suffer from severe aortic stenosis are not eligible for open-heart surgery because they are deemed at too high risk.[i]

Most commonly, the CoreValve System is inserted into a patient via an artery in the leg, and the physician then guides it through the arteries into the heart at the site of the original aortic valve. Once in place, it takes over the original valves function and ensures that oxygen-rich blood flows out of the heart efficiently and circulates throughout the body.

The advanced design of the new device was developed to address the needs of the transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) patient population, serving a broad spectrum of severe aortic stenosis patients. The CoreValve System is suitable for patients with native valves of nearly all sizes, and it is delivered via a small delivery system, making it possible to treat patients with vascular systems that are small or difficult to navigate. Additionally, the CoreValve System enables physicians to deliver the device to the diseased valve in a controlled manner, allowing for accurate placement.


About Penrose St. Francis Health Services:

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services is a full-service, 522-bed acute care facility offering a full complement of emergency, medical and surgical services. Penrose-St. Francis was named one of Americas 50 Best Hospitals seven years in a row, 2008-2014, by HealthGrades, the only recipient in Colorado. Penrose-St. Francis is part of Centura Health. Centura Health connects individuals, families and neighborhoods across Colorado and western Kansas with more than 6,000 physicians and 16,200 of the best hearts and minds in health care. Through our 15 hospitals, seven senior living communities, 17 health neighborhoods, home care and hospice services, we are making the regions best health care accessible and affordable in every community we serve. We believe you can inspire the people you care about to live healthier lives by encouraging them to do the little things that can make a big difference. For more information about Penrose-St. Francis Health Services, visit