Henry Ford cardiologists 1st in US to implant new device to improve heart, kidney function

Cardiologists at Detroit-based Henry Ford Hospital are the first in the nation and second worldwide to implant a circulatory support device meant to improve blood flow among patients with acute decompensated heart failure and declining kidney function, known as cardiorenal syndrome. 

"When a patient is suffering from ADHF, the amount of blood the heart pumps to the kidneys may be insufficient for the kidneys to work at full capacity," Gillian Grafton, DO, co-principal investigator on the trial at Henry Ford, said in a June 3 news release. "The kidneys are responsible for maintaining the fluid balance that keeps heart failure congestion in check. Heart failure by itself is a chronic and progressive condition, but the additional complication of reduced kidney function can significantly worsen a patient's condition." 

The heart pump, smaller than the size of a No. 2 pencil, is implanted using a catheter and is meant to relieve some of the heart's stress, allowing the organ to recover while improving blood flow to the kidneys. The intra-aortic axial flow pump, made by Procyrion, is being investigated as part of a clinical trial in the U.S. and Australia, with Henry Ford being the only U.S. site involved in the trial.

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