Physicians at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are taking an innovative approach to improve care for patients receiving aortic valve replacements. They’re working alongside biomedical engineers from Ohio State’s College of Engineering, who have developed a way to model and predict potential complications so they can be avoided.
The most common reason the aortic valve needs to be replaced is aortic stenosis, or narrowing of the valve opening. Over decades, the valve leaflets can become stiff from calcification, making it harder to pump blood from the left ventricle into the aorta. There are two options to replace the diseased valve – open heart surgery through a traditional opening of the chest, or a less invasive transcatheter method that deploys a tissue (bioprosthetic) valve through a blood vessel in the leg.
To help decide which approach and which valve is right for each patient, physicians and biomedical engineers at Ohio State do something unique: They create personalized 3D models of the aortic valve and neighboring structures and simulate how the new valve will function. This group meets weekly to decide together what will be best for the patient.
The team, which includes graduate students from biomedical and mechanical engineering, precisely reconstruct a patient’s aorta and 3D print it from the patient’s CT scan using various flexible materials that mimic the real aorta. They load the model into a heart simulator which pumps transparent, simulated blood through the system.
More people are walking away from a type of cardiac arrest that is nearly always fatal, thanks to a new protocol being tested at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. It’s called an ECPR alert.
Ohio State cardiologists work in conjunction with Columbus Division of Fire to implement this novel pre-hospital life support protocol that has limited availability in the U.S.
Currently, only about 10 percent of people survive a sudden cardiac arrest that happens in the field – even fewer survive with normal neurologic function. The ECPR alert is designed to change those numbers.
Columbus EMS personnel follow their protocol for ventricular fibrillation. If the patient remains in this rhythm after three defibrillation attempts, they call an ECPR alert to Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. Medics put a mechanical CPR device on the patient for transport straight to the cardiac catheterization lab where a team is assembled and waiting.
Once in the cath lab, the patient is put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), which takes over the functions of the heart and lungs. The new system worked for 68-year-old Mark Bradford of Columbus. He collapsed while on his morning walk and woke up days later after treatment in the hospital.
In 1993 the Rosses’ teenage son, Malcolm, was involved in a racing accident at Indianapolis Raceway in which he broke his neck. Malcolm was transferred to the Ohio State University’s Dodd Hall Rehabilitation Hospital. At this facility Malcolm made a full recovery from his injuries. The Rosses have been financial supporters of the Wexner Medical Center ever since.
This gift of 10 million dollars will endow research including the full spectrum of brain health and establish the Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Center for Brain Health and Performance. The Center for Brain Health and Performance will complement the new Brain and Spine Hospital, scheduled to open in 2016 to meet the growing need for services for patients with neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, stroke and many others.
Dr. Ali Rezai, holder of the Stanley D. and Joan H. Ross Chair in Neuromodulation at the Ohio State University, stated that:
“The concept of brain health is far reaching and not limited to those afflicted with neurological disorders. Optimizing our brain health and function is important throughout our lives, from youth to advanced age. This innovative center will use research and neuroscience to regain, retain, and optimize brain health and performance for people of all ages. We are grateful to Stan and Jodi Ross for their partnership and commitment that will make our vision into a reality.”