Medtronic's support catheter for peripheral artery disease earns FDA nod

Illustration of the Trailblazer support catheter--Courtesy of Medtronic

The FDA cleared Medtronic’s angled support catheter for use in the treatment of peripheral artery disease, the company announced Wednesday.

Support catheters are used in endovascular procedures to treat PAD. Medtronic’s TrailBlazer angled support catheter supports a guidewire in the peripheral arteries and allows the delivery of devices and diagnostic agents, the company said in a statement.

The device comprises a braided stainless steel shaft and a 25- and 30-degree angled and tapered tip to negotiate complex lesions in the blood vessel, according to the statement. It is compatible with three different guidewire thicknesses: 0.014, 0.018 and 0.035 inches. The two smaller support catheters can fit through the largest one, which increases the reach of the device if needed.

"Medtronic is committed to providing physicians with meaningful innovations and therapy choices to enhance their peripheral treatment algorithm," said Mark Pacyna, vice president and general manager of Medtronic’s peripheral unitn the statement. "Working with physicians, we have extended the Medtronic TrailBlazer support catheter portfolio to offer a broad suite of angled options for treatment of complex lesions both above and below the knee."

Most recently, Medtronic announced promising two-year data for its IN.PACT Admiral drug-coated balloon for the treatment of tough PAD cases. The data showed that the balloon can be effective in patient groups that typically don’t respond well do balloon angioplasty: women and diabetics.

Medtronic also markets the Arc support catheter for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. It facilitates faster delivery of the company’s Solitaire stent retriever, which removes the blood clot during a stroke, restoring blood flow in the brain.