MITERA: First Implantation of Intracardiac Device in Greece as Treatment for Pulmonary Hypertension and Heart Failure

A minimally invasive transcatheter method was successfully performed for the first time in Greece at MITERA, a member of the Hellenic Healthcare Group (HHG), with the implantation of a special intracardiac device on an 8-year-old child suffering from pulmonary hypertension.

The procedure was performed in the MITERA Catheterization Lab by a team of doctors headed by Dr. Aphrodite Tzifa, Pediatric Cardiologist / Adult Congenital Heart Disease Specialist and Director of the MITERA Pediatric Cardiology & Adult Congenital Heart Disease Department.

The young patient was discharged on the very next day following the procedure and her postoperative course is considered excellent, both under ultrasound and clinically.

The new treatment involves the implantation of the AFR (Atrial Flow Regulator) intracardiac device and, to date, it has been applied on 40 patients globally. It was initially developed with the aim of offering an innovative and alternative treatment to patients with heart failure, but it soon started being used on patients with congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension, improving the symptoms of the disease and the quality of life of these patients.

In statements she made, Dr. Aphrodite Tzifa, Director of the Pediatric Cardiology & Adult Congenital Heart Disease Department at MITERA, noted, “This new device is expected to help a significant part of the patient population who are in need of some type of intracardiac communication, as a ‘relief valve’ for intracardiac or pulmonary hypertension. In the last months, it has been used abroad, with encouraging results, increasing the technical capabilities available in terms of transcatheter therapies. But for the method to be effective, it must be applied on selected patients at dedicated medical centers.”

The MITERA Pediatric Cardiology & Adult Congenital Heart Disease Department has been running for the last 15 years, offering well-rounded care to pediatric patients and patients with congenital heart disease, from fetal life to adulthood. It provides a wide range of services, from prevention to dedicated diagnosis and treatment of patients with congenital and structural heart disease. The Department doctors have performed numerous innovative and groundbreaking procedures on children and adults, which have been published in renowned international journals, while the day-to-day Department activities include continuous training of undergraduate and postgraduate doctors, through programs offered by HYGEIA and MITERA.