The CoApt Valve™ is one of the veterinary medical devices we are currently working on. It is a transcatheter valve device which can be used to treat dogs with degenerative mitral/tricuspid valve disease.
Degenerative valve disease is a very common problem in dogs. Small breed dogs, including Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, poodles, terriers, among others, are most commonly affected. Currently there is no medical cure. This disease causes the mitral or tricuspid valve leaflets to become abnormally thickened. This hinders the valves ability to form a tight seal between the atrium and ventricle. As a result, blood in the ventricle now flows back into the atrium through the leaky valve (known as regurgitation) instead of moving forward from the ventricle into the aorta or pulmonary artery. The condition is progressive and over time the valve will continue to degrade until the heart can no longer compensate. The result is congestive heart failure, a condition in which edema fluid fills the lungs. Medical therapy can help control the clinical signs, but eventually most dogs die of the disease.
Pictured to the left is an echocardiogram image showing mitral valve regurgitation.
Medical therapy for severe degenerative valve disease is palliative at best in both dogs and in man. The definitive treatment for severe degenerative valve disease in man is surgical valve replacement or repair. Surgical valve repair options in dogs have intrinsic limitations and is not available at most veterinary specialty centers or universities. Transcatheter valve replacement is a potential new therapeutic option that avoids the limitations and complications of open heart valve replacement or repair. It would also be more accessible, less expensive and much less invasive compared to surgical repair or replacement.
Ultravet Medical Devices has already developed a prototype of the CoApt Valve which can be viewed below. Once final prototyping has been completed we plan to begin clinical trials to be conducted at various specialty veterinary animal hospitals across the United States.