UHealth Physicians Test New Percutaneous Valve in Colombia

The Miller School’s International Medicine Institute and Angiografía de Occidente S.A., the institute’s affiliate in Cali, Colombia, are collaborating on assessing the feasibility and safety of Direct Flow, Inc.’s new transcatheter aortic valve implantation device.

The team of physician-scientists last month implanted the device in four patients enrolled in the clinical trial for people suffering from aortic stenosis—a thickening and blockage of the main valve of the heart, which causes shortness of breath, chest pain, and heart failure. The study participants are considered at extreme risk for conventional cardiac surgery.

“The International Medicine Institute is pleased to be able to take part in the evaluation of cutting-edge medical devices that will allow us to treat many patients who are currently not treatable,” said Eduardo de Marchena, M.D., professor of medicine and surgery and associate dean for international medicine at the Miller School and UHealth-University of Miami Health System, who is leading the trial.

Approximately 20 more patients will be treated with the Direct Flow valve in Colombia. The Miller School and UHealth team also includes William O’Neill, M.D., executive dean for clinical affairs and chief medical officer of UHealth, Pedro O. Martinez-Clark, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, and Christian Marin y Kall, M.D., M.B.A., associate director of research administration for the institute.

Angiografía de Occidente S.A., headed by Antonio Dager, M.D., is the founding institution of the International Medicine Institute’s research, education and training affiliates. Dager is a graduate of the Miller School’s William J. Harrington Programs for Latin America and the Caribbean, and an adjunct faculty member.

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