Abbott launches medical device to treat congenital heart defects in premature infants

05:19 PM Jun 15, 2021 | Team Udayavani |

New Delhi: Drug firm Abbott on Tuesday said it has launched a medical device in India which can be implanted in premature infants and newborns who suffer from congenital heart defects.


The company has launched Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder in India. This medical device can be implanted in the tiniest babies (weighing as little as 700 grams) using a minimally-invasive procedure to treat conditions like Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA).

The device, which is even smaller than a pea, now offers hope to premature infants and newborns who need corrective treatment, and who may be non-responsive to medicine and are at high risk to undergo corrective surgery, Abbott said in a statement.

One of the most common congenital heart defects occurring in premature babies, PDA is a potentially life-threatening opening between two blood vessels leading from the heart.

This channel, which is present in normally developing fetuses, is important prior to birth to allow oxygen-rich blood from the mother to circulate throughout the fetus’ body. For most infants, the pathway, or duct, seals itself shortly after birth. In some cases, primarily in babies born prematurely, the PDA fails to spontaneously close, which can make it difficult for babies to breathe normally due to increased blood flow to the lungs. PDA accounts for up to 10% of all congenital heart disease.


”Piccolo is a critical advancement in the standard of care for the most vulnerable of premature babies who may not be able to undergo surgery to repair their hearts,” General Manager for Abbott’s Structural Heart business in India and the Subcontinent Payal Agrawal said.

Around 3.5 million premature babies are born in India each year. The incidence of PDA ranges from 15 to 37 per cent in newborn babies weighing less than 1,750 grams.

Amplatzer Piccolo Occluder is a self-expanding, wire mesh device that is inserted through a small incision in the leg and guided through vessels to the heart, where it is placed to seal the opening in the heart.

It is designed to allow the physician to insert it through the aortic or pulmonary artery as well as to retrieve and redeploy the device for optimal placement.


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