Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is a progressive and deadly disease that impacts up to 70 million people worldwide, according to Lancet in 2016. PH occurs when the pulmonary arteries’ walls start to stiffen and can no longer properly stretch to accommodate blood flow. The average pressure in a healthy person’s pulmonary arteries is normally quite low. In patients with PH, the pressure is elevated, and their vessel walls thicken and narrow. These changes restrict blood flow and reduce vessel stretch during each heartbeat, resulting in increased pressure and workload on the right side of the heart.
Aria’s device is designed to treat a form of PH called World Health Organization (WHO) Group 1 PH, also known as Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). The walls of a healthy pulmonary artery are highly elastic, but in PH they become stiff. The stiffening increases the workload on the heart and reduces the amount of blood flow the heart can deliver to the body. The excess workload can, over time, lead to right heart failure. Aria’s device is designed to mimic the function of the healthy vessels by restoring compliance to the pulmonary vessels. By doing so, it enables the heart to pump more blood for less energy. These effects have the potential to improve the ability to exercise while reducing the burden on the heart.