Is Mitral Valve Clip Truly a Huge Advance?

I’m generally a true fan when it comes to new medical devices, especially as they relate to cardiovascular disease. If you happened to hear the hoopla surrounding the new mitral valve clip (MitraClip), you might walk away believing this was the best thing since sliced bread. After all, a device that can be inserted via the groin, thereby avoiding open heart surgery in a very sick population would be gladly welcomed.


The COAPT trial was recently reported in the prestigious New England of Medicine. But one has to dig deeper to comprehend the seemingly positive results. 

COAPT leaves out a lot of details. Take the cost of the device. It’s $30,000 . But nothing was mentioned about the cost of hospitalization, operating room time, anesthesia and physician’s fees.

The only doctors quoted were those involved in the actual study. There was barely mention of a different trial that showed no significant benefit. Furthermore, very few patients with heart failure actually benefit from this device. Oh, and by the way, the study was funded by the clip’s maker, Abbot.

There are literally millions of people living with severe heart failure with limited options. If this devise was affordable and there was valid  comparison  data, who wouldn’t hail this advance? But it’s simply too premature to tout the clip’s efficacy. 

Read Original Article HERE

Howard Elkin MD