A tear in the inner lining of the aorta (also called a type A dissection of the ascending aorta), is an acute and life-threatening condition that requires
immediate surgery. A quarter of patients with untreated dissection will die within 6 hours and by 24 hours half of the patients will have died. Once a
tear has occurred it extends along the wall of the aorta, blood can flow in between the layers of the blood vessel wall (intima/media dissection). This
can lead to aortic rupture or decreased blood flow (ischemia) to organs. Patients with untreated dissection require a stent graft placed in the torn area, however, most patients are in a state where open heart surgery is too high risk. There are currently no minimally invasive surgery options that allow a precise placement of a stent to treat a Type A dissection. This is mainly due to the need to overcome the aortic arch. There is a high need for a minimal invasive option to treat and stabilise acute patients.
There is a big market need due to the acute state of the patients and the high mortality rate with aortic dissection. Annually a total of 37,000 patients US, Europe and China) suffer from this delamination and need fast treatment. Since there is still no improvement on the existing methods treating type A dissection, there is an untapped market. The market for aortic stents is expected to become $4.5 billion globally by 2028.
Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna have developed a novel approach to place a stent graft via the ascending aorta through the apex of the heart. Through this new method there is no need to pass the curvature of the aortic arch and further damage to the impaired vessel is reduced. In addition, when approaching from the heart muscle a more accurate positioning of the stent graft is possible. This new approach also has the potential to reduce the OR time to 1-2 hours, leading not only to a high cost reduction, but much faster stabilisation and recovery of the patients organs and tissues.
A patent application has been filed. Product development and clinical trials are currently being planned.