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Clinical Trial for World's Smallest Heart Pump

n Monday, October 30, Adventist Health Glendale became the first Los Angeles-area hospital to treat high-risk patients with coronary artery disease with the world’s smallest heart pump - The Impella ECP.


The Impella ECP is an investigational device in the CAP phase (Continuing Access Program) of its clinical trial. AHGL’s Office of Integrated Research helped facilitate this historic trial, underscoring our organization’s top-tier standing among leading Southern California cardiology programs.


Dr. Hambik Tankazyan, Interventional Cardiologist, (pictured above holding the ECP kit) is leading local efforts to evaluate the rate of major adverse cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) in adult patients who receive Impella ECP support during high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).


“Patients affected by coronary artery disease, stroke, heart failure and other major adverse cardiovascular events often require procedures to restore blood flow to areas of the heart receiving inadequate blood supply,” shared Dr. Tankazyan. “This trial gives us the opportunity to perform complex procedures with greater safety and less risk to our patients.”


According to maker ABIOMED, the pump provides critical hemodynamic support during high-risk PCI procedures by delivering similar or higher flow compared to other options through a smaller vascular access sheath. Once in the body, it expands and supports the heart’s pumping function, providing peak flows up to 5 L/min.


At just 9 Fr (3 mm) in diameter upon insertion and removal, it is the only heart pump compatible with small bore access and closure techniques.


Dr. Tankazyan successfully used the device during two different operations involving stent procedures. Dr. Tigran Khachatryan, Interventional Cardiologist, also used the ECP pump during one of his surgeries, bringing the day's total to three uses at a single site. Dr. Seth Bilazarian, Vice President of Interventional Cardiology Programs at ABIOMED was present to witness the procedures.


Doctors Khachatryan and Tankazyan help anchor Adventist Health Glendale’s Heart & Vascular Institute, recognized among the top 10% in the Nation for Cardiac Surgery according to Healthgrades’ 2024 rankings. They are optimistic that these smaller, smarter technologies will improve outcomes for patients with heart disease.



Photo participants left to right:Sarkis Bodozian, RN Special Procedures, Adventist Health Glendale Cath LabCarlos Biaggi, Cardiovascular Tech, Adventist Health Glendale Cath LabDr. Seth Bilazarian, Vice President, Interventional Cardiology Programs, ABIOMEDDr. Tigran Khachatryan, Interventional CardiologistDr. Hambik Tankazyan, Interventional CardiologistMaggie Kozik, Advanced Trainer, ABIOMEDTishanda Sparks, Area Manager, ABIOMEDBryan Herring, ABIOMED Clinical ConsultantJavier Valeriano, Sr. Clinical Research Coordinator, Adventist Health Glendale Office of Integrated ResearchEvelyn Lopez, Sr. Clinical Research Coordinator, Adventist Health Glendale Office of Integrated Research

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