Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) sufferers are benefiting from a new treatment approach that overcomes many of the limitations of previous atherectomy devices, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). A new technology, the Diamondback 360° Orbital Atherectomy System, treats symptomatic PAD within the major and branch arteries of the leg.
Cardiologist Tom Eagan, MD, FACC, of CardioVascular Associates P.C. says he has been treating PAD patients at Trinity Medical Center with the Diamondback 360° for a couple of years and is encouraged by the results he has seen. “The device can open heavily calcified and mineralized arteries that are not easily treated with balloons or stents,” he says. “In the past, there were a lot of blockages that we couldn’t treat except with surgery. Now we can treat them less invasively with this new device.”
The Diamondback 360° differs from other atherectomy technologies by its unique orbiting action used to remove plaque, and its ability to increase lumen diameter by increasing the orbital speed, according to the NIH. Applying the principles of centrifugal force, an eccentrically mounted diamond-coated crown rotates at high speed to sand away plaque as the crown is slowly advanced through the narrowed or occluded section of the artery. As crown rotation increases, centrifugal force presses the crown against the stenoic lesion to effect plaque removal, while the less diseased, more elastic arterial wall flexes away from the crown, which minimizes the risk of vessel trauma. The increasing crown orbit creates a larger lumen and minimizes procedure time and the need for catheter upsizing.
Also, the orbital motion of the Diamondback 360° allows interventionalists to remove plaque while minimizing the potential for stress or injury to the media layer. It also reduces the risk of barotrauma.
Currently, the Diamondback 360° is used primarily to treat PAD below the knee, and it helps to reduce pain caused by walking and to heal non-healing wounds by improving circulation. “This device may help prevent amputations,” Eagan says.
He adds that researchers are looking at uses of the device for arteries above the heart. “We are participating in a study of the use of the Diamondback for larger arteries outside the heart and in the heart itself,” Eagan says. “This device is also being studied to treat coronary arteries and atherosclerosis within these vessels as well as the peripheral arteries.”
Based on the device’s ease of use, acute procedural success and safety profile, the Diamondback 360° appears to be another step forward in the interventionalist’s quest for safe and effective tools for the treatment of the 12 million Americans with severe PAD. CardioVascular Associates has become a national training ground for the Diamondback 360°, and Eagan and his colleagues are training interventionalists across the country to use the new technology.
“We are excited about the possibilities this device offers,” Eagan says. “The main benefit is that we can treat vessels we couldn’t treat before. Improved technology continues to offer better ways for us to treat our patients less invasively.”