Participates in Avinger, Inc.'s CONNECT II Global Clinical Trial

Published: May 09, 2012

Clinical Trial will give physicians access to a sophisticated new imaging technology tool to fight Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)

DETROIT, May 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- DMC Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) announces that it will participate in CONNECT II, a global clinical trial conditionally approved by the FDA that gives physicians access to Ocelot, a new imaging technology tool to fight Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). The new technology helps to eliminate the need for bypass surgeries and/or amputations in patients with the disease. With only 14 hospitals across the United States participating, currently DMC CVI is one of two Michigan hospitals participating.


Each year, nearly 200,000 amputations occur as a result of PAD. As part of the clinical trial, co-investigator, Mahir Elder, M.D., Medical Director of both the Cardiac Care Unit, and Endovascular Medicine, will use Ocelot on enrolled patients to help restore blood flow in completely blocked arteries in patients' legs through a simple two-millimeter skin incision, helping to avoid amputation. Dr. Elder trains doctors from across the country in advanced, complex procedures. As the #1 physician in the State of Michigan in PAD treatment, Dr. Elder is an internationally and nationally recognized leader in the field.

"Research is a vital part of practicing medicine, so to be involved in a clinical trial is an opportunity to help clear the pathway for new solutions that help the clinician help the patient," said Dr. Elder. "We've been trying to find better ways to dislodge severe, almost impenetrable blockages that occur in our most serious PAD cases. I intend to apply my skills and expertise to this clinical trial to help determine whether the Ocelot technology could be our new tool. I have patients right now, today, who could benefit."

Theodore Schreiber, M.D., President of DMC Cardiovascular Institute, is pleased to offer the institute's resources to support the clinical trial.

"Our goal is always to restore and preserve health. But for some patients, even our most advanced treatments have not been enough to prevent amputation, a result that is devastating and challenging for patients and their families," Schreiber said. "A successful clinical trial of Ocelot would define a new world of hope for difficult PAD cases. The prospect of a new device and procedure that could help us save limbs is exciting for us at CVI."

Elias Kassab, M.D., Cardiovascular Disease & Interventional Cardiology will also join the DMC team as a sub-investigator in this clinical trial.

PAD, affecting between eight and 12 million adults in the U.S. alone, is caused by a build-up of plaque in the arteries that blocks blood flow to the legs and feet. Because some blockages can become so severe and difficult to penetrate with traditional catheters, patients (unaware of other options) often resort to undergo extremely invasive bypass surgeries that result in even higher health risks and lengthy, painful recoveries. Patients over 50 often face amputation, the worst-case scenario associated with PAD.

Ocelot is the first-ever Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) crossing catheter that can access exact regions of the peripheral vasculature where the blockages occur, while simultaneously providing physicians with visualization for real-time navigation during an intervention.

CONNECT II trial procedures using Ocelot are minimally invasive and designed to allow patients to leave the hospital within hours, and return to normal activities within a few days.

Physicians and administrators are available for interviews.

For animation of procedure, downloadable photos, and bios visit

About Detroit Medical

The Detroit Medical Center includes DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan, DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital, DMC Harper University Hospital, DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, DMC Hutzel Women's Hospital, DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, DMC Surgery Hospital, and DMC Cardiovascular Institute. The Detroit Medical Center is a leading regional healthcare system with a mission of excellence in clinical care, research and medical education.

About CONNECT II and Ocelot

CONNECT II is a prospective, multi-center, non-randomized global clinical study that will evaluate Ocelot on 100 PAD patients with femoropopliteal Chronic Total Occlusion (CTO) lesions at 17 sites, including three in the EU, where Ocelot received CE Mark in 2011. To learn more about CONNECT II and the first global patients enrolled, visit

About Avinger

Founded in 2007 by renowned interventional cardiologist and medical device entrepreneur Dr. John B. Simpson, Avinger develops next-generation catheter-based technologies for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD). Leveraging core competencies in medical device catheter engineering and intravascular Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Avinger markets Wildcat and Kittycat catheters, and received CE Mark in 2011 to market Ocelot, the first ever real-time OCT crossing catheter.

SOURCE Detroit Medical Center

Back to news