Technical description, deployment technique and potential applications of the Occlutech atrial flow regulator device

Barry O'Callaghan, Jenny Zablah, Dunbar Ivy, Gareth Morgan

The creation of an atrial communication with long term patency is a desirable scenario in a number of disease phenotypes affecting children and adults with both congenital and acquired cardiovascular diseases. Patients suffering from these conditions represent a small proportion of the population but bear a significant symptom and survival burden due to a lack of treatments and innovations to ameliorate their conditions.

The Occlutech Atrial Flow Regulator (AFR) was originally designed to treat significant systolic and diastolic left ventricular dysfunction in adults. The device has material and design properties that can potentially benefit those with congenital heart disease, left atrial hypertension as well as those with pulmonary vascular disease. The device can be implanted percutaneously via femoral venous approach using trans-esophageal echocardiographic guidance. The implantation is technically similar to the device closure of an Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and will be familiar to those who implant ASD occlusion devices frequently.

Here we describe the potential applications, technical considerations and expanded implementation of the AFR device for children and adults with congenital heart disease and pulmonary hypertension.