First Patient Supported with Abiomed’s Impella cVAD™

In short

Cardiac technology company Abiomed, Inc., has announced the successful first human use of the Impella cVAD™ device. The Impella cVAD(catheter deployed Ventricular Assist Device), a new heart pump iteration, designed to provide temporary circulatory support and reduce the workload of the heart muscle, provides peak flow of approximately 4 litres of blood per minute.

The device is a minimally invasive, catheter-based pump that is inserted percutaneously in the cardiac catheterisation lab, without the need for traditional surgical intervention.


Based in Danvers, Massachusetts, Abiomed, Inc., is a leading provider of medical devices that provide circulatory support to acute heart failure patients across the continuum of care in heart recovery.

In a press release the company claims its Impella cVAD provides cardiologists with the clinical flexibility to offer increased flow for patients requiring more haemodynamic support. The increased flow is delivered on the same console platform, 9 French catheter, and introducer as the Impella 2.5.

The patient

For the first-in-man experience, the Impella cVAD was implanted at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) in Montreal, Quebec by  a team led by Dr. Giuseppe Martucci, Co-Director of the Adult Intervention Congenital and Structural Health Disease Laboratory at the MUHC.

An 85-year-old patient with complex coronary artery disease, compromised left heart function (ejection fraction of 20%), and prior myocardial infarction was percutaneously implanted with the Impella cVAD. The device generated an average blood flow of 3.5 litres and peak blood flow of approximately 4 litres per minute. Post procedure, the patient reported relief of angina; the Impella was explanted after 25 hours of support and the patient is currently awaiting discharge.

Clinician comments

“The Impella cVAD gave my patient a very high level of hemodynamic support, allowing me to conduct extensive revascularization and treat his triple-vessel coronary artery disease in one procedure — all while avoiding the accompanying risk of complications,” said Dr. Martucci.

“This is another example of how the MUHC has made a safe, innovative, and minimally invasive procedure accessible to our patients. The device’s excellent blood flow gave us great flexibility and support and will allow the MUHC now to treat coronary artery disease patients who previously had limited treatment options and were unable to undergo traditional open-heart surgery,” added colleague Dr. Renzo Cecere.

Company comments

“We are extremely pleased to learn of the patient’s excellent results with the Impella cVAD and that the patient will not need to be re-staged for multiple PCI procedures,” said Michael R. Minogue, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Abiomed.

“The higher flow of the Impella cVAD can help offload approximately 80% of the heart’s work. The addition of the Impella cVAD to the growing Abiomed product portfolio further emphasizes the company’s goal to become the standard of care in every catheterization lab.”

Source: Abiomed Inc., Business Wire