Pictured above: Mark Ricciardi, MD, chief of structural heart disease at Endeavor Health.

When you are sick, a clinical trial can offer hope on the horizon.

The results can be game-changing. Mark Ricciardi, MD, chief of structural heart disease at Endeavor Health, recently performed the first commercial TriClip implant in the Midwest, a minimally invasive procedure for people with leaky tricuspid heart valves who are failing conventional therapy.

It’s a groundbreaking treatment, brought to fruition by clinical trials.

“The last two decades have seen an explosion in advancements in minimally invasive treatment of heart valve disease — interventions that are done on the beating heart through catheters. These treatments avoid the need for incisions and allow for a quick recovery,” Dr. Ricciardi said.

“Endeavor Health has been very involved in the early device clinical trials and device innovation, such as TAVR (transcatheter aortic valve replacement) and TEER (transcatheter edge to edge repair),” Dr. Ricciardi said. “In fact, the first TEER procedure in the country was done at Endeavor Health Evanston Hospital.”

In 2023, cardiologists celebrated the 20th anniversary of the MitraClip clinical trial. MitraClip is a minimally invasive device used to treat mitral valve regurgitation in patients who either aren’t good candidates for open heart surgery or have failed medical therapy. Through a catheter placed in the femoral vein, repair devices are placed on the heart valve leaflets to allow them to fully close and prevent leakage or regurgitation of blood backwards in the heart.

And as they celebrated the MitraClip anniversary, they were running a clinical trial for the TriClip implant. TriClip uses the same clip-based technology as MitraCip, but specifically treats the tricuspid valve.

Deborah Haracz participated in the Triluminate clinical trial for TriClip. She previously had a MitraClip inserted in 2020.

“I’m a curious person, and I knew it was going to make me feel better,” she said.

The MitraClip had helped her shortness of breath — a common symptom of heart valve disease — but over time her breathing worsened again, she said. She joined the TriClip trial in 2023 and said the whole process was fascinating.

“There’s a lot of preliminary testing, which was fine. I don’t mind tests,” the 86-year-old said. “I could see after each X-ray, with the MitraClip and the TriClip, that the flow (from the leaky valve) had slowed considerably.”

The procedure itself was not painful, and she was able to come home soon afterward, Haracz said.

“It was a big leak and you could see that it had stopped. You could see the clips,” she said. “It was interesting. Everybody’s learning.”

The Endeavor Health Research Institute has more than 550 active clinical trials and more than 700 clinical research studies in areas ranging from cardiology, oncology, genetics and infectious disease to patient quality, safety and experience.

With the opening of the new Endeavor Heath Cardiovascular Institute at Glenbrook Hospital, patients can access cutting-edge, comprehensive heart care as well as innovative clinical trials and research in a single landing place, from diagnosis to treatment.

Clinical trials are about hope. And you can help provide that hope and advance medicine by participating in clinical trials. Your participation helps our researchers better understand how to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases and contribute to healthcare breakthroughs that can help transform lives.

You can search for clinical trials on the Endeavor Health Clinical Trials website. Search ongoing trials by category or keyword for a specific condition or diseases.

For general questions about participating in a clinical trial at Endeavor Health, email clinicaltrials [at] northshore.org (clinicaltrials[at]northshore[dot]org). Please include how we can help in your email message.

Researchers can request information about clinical trials by emailing studyfinder [at] northshore.org (studyfinder[at]northshore[dot]org).