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Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2001 Sep;54(1):101-11.

Healing response to the Clamshell device for closure of intracardiac defects in humans.

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Department of Pediatrics, Division of Cardiology, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 19104, USA.


The healing response to intracardiac devices in humans is largely unknown. During regulatory trials using the Clamshell device in over 800 patients, attempts were made to perform histopathological evaluation of all explanted devices. We reviewed all those with complete histopathological examination (n = 12) from Fontan baffles (n = 4), ventricular septal defects (n = 2), and atrial septal defects (ASD; n = 6), explanted at 2.7 months to 3.6 years (median, 1.6 years), at autopsy (n = 1) or surgery (n = 11), performed for residual defects (n = 5), atrial masses (n = 3), or Fontan revision (n = 3). All but one were nearly (n = 3) or completely (n = 8) covered by pseudointima, composed of fibroelastic tissue, predominantly collagen, with focal foreign body reaction in contact with fabric, without acute inflammation or infection. Atrial masses of granulation tissue were present in three cases (ASD), opposite to protruding fractured arms. No associations were identified between coverage and closure status, position, arm fractures, or implant period. In conclusion, the healing response to transcatheter Clamshell implantation in humans is characterized by a relatively rapid development of a nonthrombotic pseudointima composed of fibroelastic tissue with minimal foreign body reaction. Cathet Cardiovasc Intervent 2001;54:101-111.

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