Mount Sinai is First to Use a New Device for Clearing Calcified Arteries

Interventional cardiologists at The Mount Sinai Hospital in October became the first in the world to use a new device to remove hard calcium buildup in a coronary artery in preparation for the placement of a stent to improve blood flow through the artery. The device, the Diamondback 360® Coronary Orbital Atherectomy System, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration one day before it was brought to Mount Sinai for use.

Since then, Mount Sinai’s cardiac catheterization team has performed more than 25 procedures under the leadership of Samin K. Sharma, MD, Director of Clinical and Interventional Cardiology at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Dr. Sharma says there have been no complications during or after the procedures.

“This technology allows us to significantly reduce our patients’ heart blockage for more successful stent placement,” says Dr. Sharma, the Zena and Michael A. Wiener Professor of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “We hope it will lead to improved outcomes for these patients with severely calcified blockages who are challenging to treat.”

According to experts, approximately 15 percent of patients in need of a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or angioplasty, to treat a heart blockage have severe levels of arterial calcium that would benefit from the use of the new device. Until now, there have been limited treatment options. The Diamondback 360 is the first new coronary atherectomy system to be marketed in more than 20 years.

Dr. Sharma’s expertise in performing PCI—particularly in hard-to-treat cases—led the Diamondback 360’s manufacturer, Cardiovascular Systems, Inc. (CSI), based in St. Paul, Minnesota, to choose him as the first to use the device. The Diamondback 360 is now being rolled out at other leading cardiology centers in the United States. Mount Sinai will serve as the company’s main training center for educating physicians and other cardiovascular professionals on how to use the device.

Mount Sinai’s Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory has repeatedly been awarded New York State’s highest two-star safety rating in overall and nonemergency cases. It also performs the highest number of PCI procedures in New York State—a total of 14,414 over three years, from 2008 to 2010, and is a referral center for some of the most difficult cases.

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