Henry Ford Hospital Cardiologist Wins Rare Award – Twice

February 28, 2018
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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Institutes of Health bestowed a second prestigious Orloff Science Award to pioneering Henry Ford Cardiologist Adam Greenbaum, M.D., and his team for developing two life-saving heart procedures.

Greenbaum, co-director of the Henry Ford Center for Structural Heart Disease, was honored with the award from the NIH’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute in a recent ceremony in Washington, D.C. He, along with NIH Cardiovascular Intervention Program Senior Investigator Robert J. Lederman, M.D., and NIH fellow Jaffar Khan, M.D., received the award for their work on the LAMPOON and BASILICA procedures used during heart valve replacement.

“My interest lies in saving lives, particularly for those who have been told they’re out of options,” said Dr. Greenbaum. “It is a great honor to be recognized for that – and to work with such visionary colleagues at the NIH and Henry Ford Health System.”

The Orloff Science Award recognizes outstanding achievements in science and the development of novel research tools in the previous year by NIH researchers and those working with them. The Orloff Science Awards, created in 2011, are named in honor of Dr. Jack Orloff, a longtime member of the NHLBI intramural family and scientific director from 1974-1988. Three to 12 medical teams from across the United States have received the award annually.

“We congratulate and thank Dr. Greenbaum for his leadership and innovation,” said Wright L. Lassiter, III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System. “This is clearly an amazing accomplishment and a testament to Dr. Greenbaum and his team’s commitment to excellence in the treatment of heart disease.”

Dr. Greenbaum excels at catheter-based heart procedures in high-risk patients. This year’s award recognizes a technique he and Drs. Lederman and Khan developed that prevents a valve leaflet from blocking the flow of blood during heart valve replacement. Using a tiny, electrified wire fed into the heart through a catheter, the cardiologist slices the native leaflet to allow proper flow through the new valve.

In a TAVR aortic valve replacement, the technique is called BASILICA, an acronym for Bioprosthetic Aortic Scallop Intentional Laceration to prevent Iatrogenic Coronary Artery obstruction. In a TMVR mitral valve replacement, the technique is called LAMPOON, or ‘Laceration of the Anterior Mitral valve leaflet to Prevent Outflow track ObstructioN.

Dr. Henry Kim, Division Head of Cardiology in the Edith and Benson Ford Heart & Vascular Institute at Henry Ford Hospital, called the award recognizing this work “a remarkable achievement.”

“We see it every day in his work at Henry Ford Hospital,” Dr. Kim said. “We congratulate Dr. Greenbaum on his truly incredible work as a stand-out innovator and pioneer in a field already filled with innovation and technological advances.”

Dr. Greenbaum was bestowed the 2017 Orloff Science Award for his work pioneering the unique transcaval procedure, which allows doctors an alternative route to the heart in patients who have issues with traditional methods. Greenbaum performed the first human transcaval procedure in the world on July 3, 2013. Since then, the procedure has been performed when the patients were either too sick for traditional open heart surgery, or their anatomy – like small arteries -- prevented the use of more traditional routes to the heart using a catheter.

During transcaval valve replacement, a wire is guided into a leg and up through the femoral vein. An opening between the vein and artery is widened to the point of allowing a catheter to connect them, continue to the heart, and implant the new artificial aortic heart valve. As the catheter is removed, a plug is inserted in the artery to close the hole made for the temporary connection of the two major blood vessels.

Greenbaum and the Center for Structural Heart Disease team at Henry Ford Hospital are the most experienced team performing the procedure in the United States. The technique, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26356244, is now used by doctors around the world who routinely seek out guidance from Dr. Greenbaum on the procedure.

“To receive the same rare award two years in a row is a spectacular accomplishment,” said Dr. William Conway, Executive Vice President of Henry Ford Health System and CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group. “Dr. Greenbaum works tirelessly on behalf of patients from across Michigan and the Midwest. This is testament to his dedication to patients everywhere, and to the pioneering work that places him among top scientists and medical professionals in the United States.”

Approximately 5 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with heart valve disease annually. With an aging population that is often too frail for open-heart surgery, more than 20,000 Americans die of the disease each year, according to the American Heart Association.

For more information on heart valve replacement, or an appointment, call (313) 916-1878 or visit www.henryfordhospital.com/structuralheart.

Tammy Battaglia