Revolutionary Catheter for PAD


SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – A cutting-edge catheter is greatly improving treatment for the estimated eight million Americans who suffer from peripheral artery disease, or PAD. Clogged arteries in the legs cause pain and increase the chances of heart attack or stroke.

A few months ago, Melody Adamo couldn’t have imagined being able to stroll out her door, pain-free.

Adamo told Ivanhoe, “I could only walk so far and my thigh would hurt and even into my hip. So I knew I wasn’t getting enough circulation.”

She also had a foot wound that hadn’t healed for five years and, she needed to walk to recover from heart bypass surgery. So when Mitul Patel, M.D., an interventional cardiologist at UC San Diego Health,  suggested using a state of the art catheter that could let him see the plaque buildup directly inside her leg arteries, Adamo was all in.

“It gives you very nice detailed images inside of the artery and allows you to focus your cutting on diseased segments rather than cutting healthy part of the artery,” explained Dr. Patel.

Inside the artery, a camera the size of a grain of salt shows exactly where the plaque is. He cuts it away with the blade, which is rotating a thousand times a minute. The plaque is stored inside the nose cone and removed.

Dr. Patel detailed, “Long term, our hope is using this catheter does save time because it doesn’t require patients to come back for recurring procedures. That’s one of the Achilles heels of our current therapy for arterial disease.”

Adamo said relief was immediate. She still has some discomfort, but it doesn’t get in the way of her doing what she loves.

Late last year, the FDA expanded its approval of the Pantheris, allowing the catheter to be used for both diagnostic imaging and treatment of PAD. Right now, the Pantheris is only FDA approved for use in the legs, but Dr. Patel anticipates it being modified for larger vessels in the future.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Wendy Chioji, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Rusty Reed, Videographer.

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REPORT:       MB #4258


BACKGROUND: Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. When PAD develops, the legs do not receive enough blood flow to keep up with demands. This causes symptoms, the most noticeable and common being leg pain when walking. Other symptoms include a change in the color of the legs, hair loss on the legs, shiny skin on the legs, coldness in the foot or leg, leg numbness or weakness, cuts/sores on the feet that will not heal, erectile dysfunction in men, and painful cramping in the hip, calf, or thigh. PAD is caused by plaques building up in the artery walls and reducing blood flow. Medications, angioplasty, surgery, and an exercise program are the typical treatments for PAD.

TREATMENT: The Pantheric catheter is a tiny camera that lets doctors see the inside of their patient’s arteries. It allows them to focus on removing the diseased segments rather than cutting a healthy part of the artery. Pantheris is the first and only image-guided atherectomy device to receive clearance for diagnostic imaging as well as for the simultaneous treatment of peripheral artery disease. This expanded indication clarifies that, in addition to treatment of PAD, Pantheris may be used by physicians to identify the vessel lumen and wall structures such as intima, internal elastic lamina (IEL), media, external elastic lamina (EEL) and stent struts, as well as vessel morphologies such as calcium, thrombus, fibroatheromas and necrotic cores. In the past, physicians have had to rely solely on X-ray as well as touch and feel to guide their tools while they try to treat complicated arterial disease.

SERIOUSNESS OF PAD: PAD is more serious than just leg pain. The buildup of plaque in the blood vessels puts a person at risk for developing critical limb ischemia, which begins as open sores on the feet or legs that do not heal and become infected. If the infection progresses, it can cause tissue death (gangrene), sometimes requiring amputation of the affected limb. Also, having PAD significantly increases your chances of stroke and heart attack.



Michelle Brubaker


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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Mitul Patel, M.D., FACC, FSCAI

Read the entire Q&A