The Amplatzer Piccolo occluder from Abbott is one of the first medical devices that health providers can implant in premature babies weighing as little as 2 lb to treat patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in a minimally invasive way.
PDA is an opening between two blood vessels leading from the heart. It is one of the most common congenital heart defects in premature babies and accounts for up to 10% of all congenital heart diseases.
Approved by FDA in early 2019, Piccolo is a self-expanding, wire mesh, catheter-deployed device inserted through a small incision in the leg and guided through vessels to the heart, according to Abbott. The Abbott Park, Ill.–based medtech giant designed Piccolo to allow a physician to insert it through the aortic or pulmonary artery with the ability to retrieve and redeploy the device for optimal placement.