US 20050288685 A1
Conduits are provided to direct blood flow from the left ventricle to a coronary artery at a location distal to a blockage in the coronary artery. Threaded and nonthreaded conduits are delivered using a guidewire delivered through the posterior and anterior walls of a coronary artery and into the heart wall. A dilator may be provided over the guidewire into the heart wall, and the conduit delivered over the dilator. An introducer sleeve may be provided over the dilator into the heart wall, the dilator removed, and the conduit delivered through the introducer sleeve. A hollow needle also may be inserted into the posterior and anterior walls of the coronary artery prior to inserting the guidewire. A depth measuring tool may determine the appropriate length of the conduit prior to delivery. The depth measuring tool can include the hollow needle with an access port on a proximal end of the needle and an opening on the distal end of the needle in flow communication with the access port so that when the needle is inserted through the heart wall and into the heart chamber, blood flow through the opening.
52. A coronary by-pass system, comprising:
a conduit configured to provide a passageway of blood between a chamber of the heart and an adjacent blood vessel through a heart wall, the conduit including an elongate body having a proximal end, a distal end and a lumen extending therethrough; and
an apparatus configured to deliver the conduit to the heart wall, the apparatus comprising:
a dilator configured to be placed over the guidewire; and
a distending engagement member configured to hold the blood vessel open.
53. The system of
wherein the engagement mechanism is configured to engage the blood vessel and to anchor the conduit.
54. The system of
55. The system of
56. The system of
57. The system of
58. The system of
59. The system of
60. The system of
61. The system of
62. The system of claims 59, wherein the distending engagement member is chosen from a balloon, a threaded section, and a deployable feature extending past an outer diameter of the sleeve.
63. The system of claims 52, wherein the dilator is stepped.
64. A coronary by-pass method, comprising:
distending a blood vessel adjacent to a chamber of a heart;
advancing a dilator into a heart wall between the blood vessel and the chamber of the heart; and
advancing a conduit into the heart wall so as to form a passageway of blood between the chamber of the heart and the adjacent blood vessel through the heart wall,
wherein the conduit includes an elongate body having a proximal end, a distal end and a lumen extending therethrough.
65. The method of
66. The method of
67. The method of
68. The method of
wherein at least one of the dilator and the conduit is advanced into the heart wall via the guidewire.
69. The method of
70. The method of
71. The method of
This application claims the benefits of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/147,211, filed Aug. 4, 1999.
The present invention relates to an apparatus for bypassing a blocked or stenosed blood vessel segment, and, more particularly, to an apparatus and method for delivering a conduit between the coronary artery and the left ventricle of the heart.
Coronary artery disease is a major problem in-the U.S. and throughout the world. Coronary arteries as well as other blood vessels frequently become clogged with plaque which, at the very least, can reduce blood and oxygen flow to the heart muscle (myocardium), and may impair the efficiency of the heart's pumping action, and can lead to heart attack (myocardial infarction) and death. In some cases, these coronary arteries can be unblocked through non-invasive techniques such as balloon angioplasty. In more difficult cases, a surgical bypass of the blocked vessel is necessary.
In a coronary bypass operation, one or more venous segments are inserted between the aorta and the coronary artery, or, alternatively, the distal end of an internal mammary artery is anastomosed to the coronary artery at a site distal to the stenosis or occlusion. The inserted venous segments or transplants act as a bypass of the blocked portion of the coronary artery and thus provide for a free or unobstructed flow of blood to the heart. More than 500,000 bypass procedures are performed in the U.S. every year.
Such coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, however, is a very intrusive procedure which is expensive, time-consuming, and traumatic to the patient. The operation requires an incision through the patient's sternum (sternotomy), and that the patient be placed on a heart-lung bypass pump so that the heart can be operated on while not beating. A saphenous vein graft is harvested from the patient's leg, another highly invasive procedure, and a delicate surgical procedure is required to piece the bypass graft to the coronary artery (anastomosis). Hospital stays subsequent to the surgery and convalescence are prolonged. Furthermore, many patients are poor surgical candidates due to other concomitant illnesses.
As mentioned above, another conventional treatment is percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA) or other types of angioplasty. However, such vascular treatments are not always indicated due to the type or location of the blockage or stenosis, or due to the risk of emboli.
Thus, there is a need for an improved coronary bypass system which is less traumatic to the patient.
Briefly stated, the methods and apparatus described and illustrated herein generally relate to direct coronary revascularization, wherein a conduit or opening is provided from the left ventricle to the coronary artery, oftentimes the left anterior descending (LAD), to provide blood flow directly therethrough. These methods and apparatus are particularly useful when a blockage partially or completely obstructs the coronary artery, in which case the bypass conduit or opening is positioned distal to the blockage. More preferably, conduits are provided to direct blood flow from the left ventricle to a coronary artery at a location distal to a blockage in the coronary artery. The conduits may be threaded to facilitate insertion into a patient's heart wall and to control the depth of insertion. Threaded and nonthreaded conduits are preferably delivered using a guidewire approach. In this approach, the guidewire is placed through a needle that is inserted into the left ventricle. After the guidewire is placed, the needle is removed. In one embodiment, a dilator is provided over the guidewire into the heart wall, and the conduit is delivered over the dilator. In another embodiment, an introducer sleeve is provided over the dilator into the heart wall, the dilator is removed, and the conduit is delivered through the introducer sleeve. A depth measuring tool is preferably used to determine the appropriate length of the conduit prior to delivery. In another embodiment, a feature can be included on the end of the introducer sleeve that engages with the arterial wall, and when pulled back, distends the artery. The conduit can then be advanced until the deployable flanges seat against the bottom of the artery.
As is well known, the coronary artery branches off the aorta and is positioned along the external surface of the heart wall. Oxygenated blood that has returned from the lungs to the heart then flows from the heart to the aorta. Some blood in the aorta flows into the coronary arteries, and the remainder of blood in the aorta flows on to the rest of the body. The coronary arteries are the primary blood supply to the heart muscle and are thus critical to life. In some individuals, atherosclerotic plaque, aggregated platelets, and/or thrombi build up within the coronary artery, blocking the free flow of blood and causing complications ranging from mild angina to heart attack and death. The presence of coronary vasospasm, also known as “variant angina” or “Prinzmetal's angina,” compounds this problem in many patients.
The principles of the present invention are not limited to left ventricular conduits, and include conduits for communicating bodily fluids from any space within a patient to another space within a patient, including any mammal. Furthermore, such fluid communication through the conduits is not limited to any particular direction of flow and can be antegrade or retrograde with respect to the normal flow of fluid. Moreover, the conduits may communicate between a bodily space and a vessel or from one vessel to another vessel (such as an artery to a vein or vice versa). Moreover, the conduits can reside in a single bodily space so as to communicate fluids from one portion of the space to another. For example, the conduits can be used to achieve a bypass within a single vessel, such as communicating blood from a proximal portion of an occluded coronary artery to a more distal portion of that same coronary artery.
In addition, the conduits and related methods can preferably traverse various intermediate destinations and are not limited to any particular flow sequence. For example, in one preferred embodiment of the present invention, the conduit communicates from the left ventricle, through the myocardium, into the pericardial space, and then into the coronary artery. However, other preferred embodiments are disclosed, including direct transmyocardial communication from a left ventricle, through the myocardium and into the coronary artery. Thus, as emphasized above, the term “transmyocardial” should not be narrowly construed in connection with the preferred fluid communication conduits, and other non-myocardial and even non-cardiac fluid communication are preferred as well. With respect to the walls of the heart (and more specifically the term “heart wall”), the preferred conduits and related methods are capable of fluid communication through all such walls including, without limitation, the pericardium, epicardium, myocardium, endocardium, septum, etc.
The bypass which is achieved with certain preferred embodiments and related methods is not limited to a complete bypass of bodily fluid flow, but can also include a partial bypass which advantageously supplements the normal bodily blood flow. Moreover, the occlusions which are bypassed may be of a partial or complete nature, and therefore the terminology “bypass” or “occlusion” should not be construed to be limited to a complete bypass or a complete occlusion but can include partial bypass and partial occlusion as described.
The preferred conduits and related methods disclosed herein can also provide complete passages or partial passages through bodily tissues. In this regard, the conduits can comprise stents, shunts, or the like, and therefore provide a passageway or opening for bodily fluid such as blood. Moreover, the conduits are not necessarily stented or lined with a device but can comprise mere tunnels or openings formed in the tissues of the patient.
The conduits of the present invention preferably comprise both integral or one-piece conduits as well as plural sections joined together to form a continuous conduit. The present conduits can be deployed in a variety of methods consistent with sound medical practice including vascular or surgical deliveries, including minimally invasive techniques. For example, various preferred embodiments of delivery rods and associated methods may be used. In one embodiment, the delivery rod is solid and trocar-like. It may be rigid or semi-rigid and capable of penetrating the tissues of the patient and thereby form the conduit, in whole or in part, for purposes of fluid communication. In other preferred embodiments, the delivery rods may be hollow so as to form the conduits themselves (e.g., the conduits are preferably self-implanting or self-inserting) or have a conduit mounted thereon (e.g., the delivery rod is preferably withdrawn leaving the conduit installed). Thus, the preferred conduit device and method for installation is preferably determined by appropriate patient indications in accordance with sound medical practices.
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A tool 24 is then used to advance the conduit 10 to the proper depth, as shown in
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In this embodiment, the dilator 22, conduit 10, and sleeve 26 are assembled as shown, and inserted through the coronary artery and into the myocardium until the bulbous feature 29 is inside the lumen of the artery. The assembly is then pulled back, so that the bulbous feature 29 distends the artery. The stepped dilator 22 is then pushed into the left ventricle, advancing the conduit 10 while the sleeve 26 is held in place. The flanges 28 then deploy outside the sleeve, but inside the artery. The conduit can be advanced until the flanges bottom out on the bottom wall of the artery, then the sleeve 26 and dilator 22 can be removed. Several configurations of bulbous features can be incorporated, including a short threaded section, a balloon, or any deployable features that extend past the outer diameter (OD) of the sleeve thereby anchoring the sleeve in the lumen of the artery. It is also understood that the dilator, conduit, and sleeve can be inserted as an assembly, or individually in which case the conduit is backloaded into the sleeve after the sleeve has been placed.
It will be appreciated that various conduit configurations can be used in accordance with the embodiments of the present invention. For instance, threaded conduits, conduits with barbs and conduits with flanges may all be used.
In another embodiment, not shown, a method is provided for insertion of a curved conduit. This embodiment is useful where it is desired to provide a curved conduit between the left ventricle and coronary artery. A curved stylet is preferably inserted into the heart wall from the coronary artery to the left ventricle. A nonthreaded conduit is advanced over the curved stylet using a threaded flexible tool placed over the conduit. The threaded flexible tool is preferably attached to the conduit in order to advance the conduit over the stylet. The conduit is inserted by turning the tool until the conduit is in its desired location. In this embodiment, the conduit can be rigid or flexible.
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The embodiments illustrated and described above are provided merely as examples of certain preferred embodiments of the present invention. Other changes and modifications can be made from the embodiments presented herein by those skilled in the art without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims.