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April 19, 2019

Bryn Mawr Hospital first in Pennsylvania to enroll patient in clinical trial for new heart blockage treatment

Shockwave technology breaks up problematic calcium in arteries

Illness Heart Disease
Shockwave Intravascular Lithotripsy Source/

The Intravascular Lithotripsy (IVL) System by Shockwave Medical generates sonic pressure waves to break up calcium deposits in heart arteries.

Bryn Mawr Hospital is the first hospital in Pennsylvania to enroll a patient in a clinical trial on a new treatment for people with an advanced form of heart disease.

The treatment, Intravascular Lithotripsy by Shockwave Medical, uses sonic pressure waves to break up the calcium in arterial plaque blockages, according to a news release from the hospital, which is part of Main Line Health's Lankenau Heart Institute. By breaking up the calcium deposits, arteries can be opened to restore proper blood flow to allow installation of a stent.

The hospital also was the first in the region to lithotripsy to treat calcified leg artery blockages. Lithotripsy has been used since the early 1980s to treat kidney stones, which also form out of calcium.

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“We are thrilled to be the first in the state of Pennsylvania to offer this innovative technology,” said Dr. Sarang Mangalmurti, Lankenau Heart Institute interventional cardiologist at Bryn Mawr Hospital, who performed the hospital’s first procedure. “Hardened calcium within the heart is becoming more common as people are living longer and is very challenging to treat. The sonic pressure waves produced when performing Intravascular Lithotripsy give us a novel treatment option to weaken the calcified plaque, with potentially less risk of trauma to the artery compared to other treatments.”

According to the news release:

Intravascular Lithotripsy uses a small generator to produce sonic pressure waves from a catheter that is threaded through the arterial system to the site of the blockage in the heart. The technology was designed to produce pressure waves that pass safely through the soft vascular tissue, only impacting the hardened calcified plaque inside the artery wall by creating a series of micro-fractures. After the calcium has been modified, the artery can be expanded using a low pressure balloon and a stent, thereby enabling even historically challenging CAD patients to be treated effectively with minimal injury to the vessel.

The DISRUPT CAD III study will enroll nearly 400 patients at 50 hospitals around the world and follow patients for up to two years.

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