Life-Saving Heart Help Gets CE Mark

Already approved in U.S., two life-saving devices now cleared for babies and children in Europe.

Healthy Heart | Sep. 17, 2019

Every year, 36,0001 children are born with congenital heart defects in Europe.

Now, better than ever before, we can help each one of them.

With new approval for use in Europe, our Masters HP 15mm heart valve and Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder are now available to help those children.

Already offered in the U.S., the life-changing technologies are helping infants at their most vulnerable when other suitable treatments may not exist.

That was the case for Sadie, who was born with a congenital heart problem called complete atrioventricular canal defect. In simple terms, it’s a hole between the upper and lower chambers of the heart, where the middle is essentially missing.

When two surgeries didn’t completely fix the problem, Sadie received the first 15mm Masters valve as part of a trial. Now, she’s thriving at home, growing up healthy.

“When our doctor told us the Abbott valve worked, and that it improved her heart function as much as it did ... as a parent, I can’t put into words the happiness and emotion I felt. It’s a moment I’ll never forget,” said Sadie’s dad, Lee’or.

It was a similar experience for Irie, who received an Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder.

She and her twin brother Judah were born prematurely at 27 weeks. Their parents knew the first days of their lives wouldn’t be easy.

Irie was struggling against a life-threatening congenital defect called a patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, which is an opening between two blood vessels leading from the heart that is also present in normally developing fetuses.

For most babies, that opening seals itself shortly after birth.

“We saw that Irie’s heart was enlarging in size and more and more fluid was collecting in her lungs,” said Aimee Armstrong, MD, director of Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Therapies at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, and Irie’s cardiologist.

Dr. Armstrong suggested Irie may benefit from a Piccolo occluder. Dr. Armstrong was right.

Within days of receiving her occluder, Irie was able to breathe on her own and was taken off the ventilator. She’s now at her home, growing and thriving. Just like Sadie.

"You have to live it to fully appreciate what that device did for our daughter,” said Matt, Irie’s dad. “Three days after the procedure, she was making great progress.”

And now these devices can help children in Europe born with congenital heart issues as they begin their first days of life. We have prioritized making more devices, diagnostics and nutritional products available for more patients to help stop challenging conditions in their tracks for our youngest patients.

“Devices like these are among the best examples of our promise to help people live their fullest lives — in this case, young babies and children for whom these are treatments are nothing short of miraculous,” said Michael Dale, vice president of Abbott’s structural heart operation.

For more on our structural heart portfolio — including MitraClip’s extended indication and its next generation — please click here.

1Dolk, Helen et al. Congenital heart defects in Europe: prevalence and perinatal mortality, 2000 to 2005.”Circulation123 8 (2011): 841-9.



The AMPLATZER PiccoloTM Occluder is a percutaneous, transcatheter occlusion device intended for the nonsurgical closure of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).


• Weight < 700 grams at time of the procedure

• Age < 3 days at time of procedure

• Coarctation of the aorta

• Left pulmonary artery stenosis

• Cardiac output that is dependent on right to left shunt through the PDA due to pulmonary hypertension

• Intracardiac thrombus that may interfere with the implant procedure

• Active infection requiring treatment at the time of implant

• Patients with a PDA length smaller than 3 mm

• Patients with a PDA diameter that is greater than

4 mm at the narrowest portion


• This device was sterilized with ethylene oxide and is for single use only. Do not reuse or re-sterilize this device. Attempts to resterilize this device can cause a malfunction, insufficient sterilization, or harm to the patient.

• Do not use the device if the sterile package is open or damaged.

• Use on or before the last day of the expiration month that is printed on the product packaging label.

• Patients who are allergic to nickel can have an allergic reaction to this device.

• Prepare for situations that require the removal of this device. Preparation includes access to a transcatheter snare kit and an on-site surgeon.

• Accurate measurements of the ductus are crucial for correct occluder size selection.

• Do not release the occluder from the delivery wire if either a retention disc protrudes into the pulmonary artery or aorta; or if the position of the occluder is not stable.

• Remove embolized devices. Do not remove

an embolized occluder through intracardiac structures unless the occluder is fully recaptured inside a catheter.


• This device should be used only by physicians who are trained in standard transcatheter techniques. Determine which patients are candidates for procedures that use this device.

• The physician should exercise clinical judgment in situations that involve the use of anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs before, during, and/or after the use of this device.

• Patients should have an activated clotting time (ACT) of greater than 200 sec prior to device placement, unless the patient has a significant risk for bleeding and is unable to be anti-coagulated.

• The device may be delivered via an anterograde (venous) or a retrograde (arterial) approach. However, in small infants (≤2 kg), the device should be delivered using the anterograde (venous) approach since small infants are at an increased risk for arterial injury.

• The AMPLATZER PiccoloTM Occluder contains nickel-titanium alloy, which is generally considered safe. However, in vitro testing has demonstrated that nickel is released from this device for a minimum of 60 days following implant. Patients who are allergic to nickel may have an allergic reaction to this device, especially those with a history of metal allergies. Certain allergic reactions can be serious; patients should seek immediate medical attention if there is suspicion of an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include difficulty in breathing or swelling of the face or throat. While data are currently limited, it is possible that some patients may develop an allergy to nickel if this device is implanted.

• Use in specific populations

n Pregnancy — Minimize radiation exposure to the

fetus and the mother.

n Nursing mothers — There has been no quantitative assessment for the presence of leachables in breast milk.

• Store in a dry place.

• Do not use contrast power injection with

delivery catheter.


Potential adverse events that may occur during or after a procedure placing this device include, but are not limited to:

• Air embolus

• Allergic dye reaction

• Allergic drug reaction

• Anesthesia reactions

• Apnea

• Arrhythmia

• Bacterial endocarditis

• Bleeding

• Cardiac perforation

• Cardiac tamponade

• Chest pain

• Device embolization

• Device erosion

• Death

• Fever

• Headache/migraine

• Hemolysis

• Hematoma

• Hypertension

• Hypotension

• Infection

• Myocardial infarction

• Palpitations

• Partial obstruction of aorta

• Partial obstruction of pulmonary artery • Pericardial effusion

• Pericarditis

• Peripheral embolism

• Pleural effusion

• Pulmonary embolism

• Re-intervention for device removal

• Respiratory distress

• Stroke

• Thrombus

• Transient ischemic attack

• Valvular regurgitation

• Vascular access site injury

• Vascular occlusion

• Vessel perforation



The SJMTM Masters Series Mechanical Heart Valve is intended for use as a replacement valve in patients with a diseased, damaged, or malfunctioning mitral or aortic heart valve. This device

may also be used to replace a previously implanted mitral or aortic prosthetic heart valve.

The sizer model 905-15 is indicated to confirm size selection of the 15AHPJ-505 and 15MHPJ-505 valves.


The SJMTM Masters Series Mechanical Heart Valve is contraindicated for individuals unable to tolerate anticoagulation therapy.

The sizer model 905-15 is contraindicated for use with any devices other than the 15 AHPJ-505 and 15MHPJ-505 valves. Any sizer sterilization method other than steam is contraindicated.



• For single use only. Attempts to reuse the valve may result in valve malfunction, inadequate sterilization, or patient harm.

• Use only St. Jude MedicalTM mechanical heart valve sizers.

• Do not use if:

n The valve has been dropped, damaged, or

mishandled in anyway.

n The expiration date has elapsed.

n The tamper-evident container seal or inner/ outer tray seals are damaged, broken, or missing.

• Remove any residual tissue that may impair valve size selection, correct seating of the valve, rotation of the valve, or leaflet motion.

• Proper valve size selection is crucial. Do

not oversize the valve. If the native annulus measurement falls between two SJMTM Masters Series Mechanical Heart Valve sizes, use the smaller prosthetic valve size.

• The outer tray is not sterile, and should not be placed in the sterile field.

• To minimize direct handling of the valve during implantation, do not remove the holder/rotator until the valve has been seated in the annulus.

• Do not use hard or rigid instruments to test leaflet mobility, as this may result in structural damage to the valve or thromboembolic complications. Use a St. Jude MedicalTM leaflet tester to gently test valve leaflet mobility.

• Place sutures in the outer half of the valve sewing cuff.

• Never apply force to the valve leaflets. Force may cause structural damage to the valve.

• Use only SJMTM Valve Holder/Rotators to perform valve rotation. Use of other instruments could result in structural damage. The valve holder/rotator is intended for single use only and should be discarded after surgery.

• The two retention sutures on the valve holder/ rotator must be cut and removed before the valve can be rotated.

• Do not pass catheters or other instruments through St. Jude MedicalTM mechanical heart valves. This could result in scratched or damaged valve components, leaflet fracture, or dislodgment.

• Cut suture ends short, especially in the vicinity of the pivot guards, to prevent leaflet impingement.



• Do not touch the prosthetic valve unnecessarily, even with gloved hands. This may cause scratches or surface imperfections that may lead to thrombus formation.

• Be careful not to cut or tear the valve sewing cuff when removing the identification tag and the holder/rotator from the valve.

• Before placing sutures in the valve sewing cuff, verify that the valve is mounted correctly on the valve holder/rotator.

• To avoid structural damage, the valve must be rotated in the fully open position.

• To minimize rotational torque, verify that the valve holder/rotator is properly seated in the valve, and that the valve holder handle is perpendicular to the valve.

• Remove any loose suture or thread, which may be a source of thrombus or thromboembolism.

• Implantation of a prosthetic valve too large

for the annulus may result in increased risk of damage to the conductive system, obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract, impairment of valve mobility, damage to the left circumflex artery, and damage to surrounding tissues or cardiac structures including obstruction and/or distortion of adjacent cardiac structures.



• Instruments must be cleaned and sterilized prior to use.

• Do not use cracked, deformed, discolored/rusted, or damaged instruments.

• Improper cleaning may result in an immunological or toxic reaction.

• Instrument sterilization temperature must not exceed 280°F (138°C).

• Do not bend flexible instrument handles beyond a 90° angle.

• Instruments must be sterilized in a tray or container that is permeable to steam.

• Do not expose instruments to cleaning or rinse agents that are not compatible with polysulfone or polyphenylsulfone.


Complications associated with replacement mechanical heart valves include, but are not limited to, hemolysis, infections, thrombus, or thromboembolism, valve dehiscence, unacceptable hemodynamic performance, hemorrhagic complications secondary to anticoagulation therapy, heart block requiring pacemaker implant, prosthetic failure, adjacent cardiac structure interference, heart failure, stroke, myocardial infarction, or death. Any of these complications may require reoperation or explantation of the device.