Through an innovative catheterization procedure, a pediatric cardiologist at Texas Childrens Heart Center in Houston repaired a severe liver condition in a 14-year-old male. The doctor used a catheter and septal occluder device that is generally used to close holes in childrens hearts. Similar procedures have been reported only six times in medical literature. But this is the first time the procedure has been performed with this particular device.
"Sammy was born with a hole in his liver about the size of a garden hose that has caused him complicated health problems," said Dr. Henri Justino, an interventional cardiologist at Texas Childrens Heart Center and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. "Since we successfully perform a wide variety of interventional cardiac procedures in the catheterization lab every day, we consulted with colleagues in the Liver Center, and decided to apply the same procedure in Sammys case," said Justino.
Sammy Drake, a resident of West Texas, was born with a rare liver problem known as patent ductus venosus (PDV). The ductus venosus, a large vein that crosses through the liver and empties near the heart, is normally present before birth and plays an important role in the development of the fetus. After birth, however, the PDV is no longer needed and usually closes on its own. Closure of this vein allows blood returning from the intestines to go to the liver, an essential step needed to filter certain nutrients and toxins in foods.
Carol Wittman | EurekAlert!
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