Information for Referring Physicians

What is the PARTNER II Trial?

The PARTNER II Trial is a multicenter investigational study that will evaluate the safety and effectiveness of transcatheter aortic valve replacement using the 2nd generation Edwards SAPIEN XT tissue valve and NovaFlex delivery system.

The device and delivery system will be evaluated in high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis. All patients enrolled in the PARTNER II Trial will undergo transcatheter valve replacement.

For a complete list of inclusion and exclusion criteria, visit:

How does the SAPIEN XT (2nd generation) valve differ from the Edwards SAPIEN valve used in the original PARTNER trial?

The SAPIEN XT design has a lower profile (smaller), which allows for more controlled, precise placement. The SAPIEN XT is also being tested for increased durability. The new design will allow a broader spectrum of patients to be treated with fewer vascular complications.

What is the process for patients to be evaluated for the trial?

After physicians refer patients to UMMC for the trial, the patient will be scheduled for a thorough evaluation in our multidisciplinary clinic. There, patients will undergo the appropriate screening tests (such as ECHO, EKG or CT scan) and will be evaluated by a cardiologist, two cardiac surgeons and nurse practitioner. After additional consultation from the trial committee, the referring physician and patient will be informed of the patient’s enrollment status.

How is the referring physician kept informed of patient care and progress during the trial?

The physicians in the Heart Valve Program at the University of Maryland will keep referring physicians informed about the patients referred here for care. Referring physicians are part of the team and will remain involved in treatment plans to foster the best long-term outcomes for each patient.

After the patient has been evaluated, UMMC will notify the referring physician about the patient’s enrollment status. Once the patient is enrolled in the trial, the referring physician will be regularly updated on the patient’s progress. Referring physicians are encouraged to contact a member of the trial team at any time to discuss a patient’s treatment plan.

Enrolled patients will undergo clinical follow-up at discharge, 30 days, six months, 12 months, and annually thereafter to a minimum of five years post-procedure. During this time, the patient will receive coordinated care from their PCP or primary cardiologist and University of Maryland physicians.

What is the cost to the patient?

There is no cost to the patient for participation in PARTNER II. However, the patient will be required to provide transportation to and from appointments for evaluation and consultation before and after surgery.

Patient Responsibilities

Initial evaluation time will vary, but patients should plan on spending at least four hours for the first initial evaluation in the Heart Valve clinic. Patients will receive an echocardiogram and will be evaluated by a cardiologist, a cardiac surgeon and the research team. Additional testing may also be requested from the clinical team during that initial evaluation.

Following the initial evaluation, patients will be required to return to the clinic for a follow-up visit for additional research procedures that are required at specific times prior to the procedure date.

The length of hospital stay following the procedure will vary depending on each patient’s condition. Average length of stay is approximately seven days and tends to be shorter than the average stay for open heart surgery.

Patients will be required to attend follow-up appointments in the Heart Valve clinic at 30 days, six months, and one year after the procedure, and then on a yearly basis for up to five years. The follow-up testing will take approximately an hour and a half per visit and is a crucial part of the research protocol.

If a patient is not eligible for the trial, what alternative therapies can the University of Maryland offer?

The University of Maryland Heart Valve Program offers several treatment options for patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis, including patients who are otherwise inoperable.

In addition the PARTNER II Clinical Trial and traditional open heart surgeries, we also offer minimally invasive options, including:

  • Aortic valve replacement and repairs

  • Aortic valve bypass

  • Balloon aortic valvuloplasty

If a patient is ineligible for the trial and would like information on alternative therapies, we can discuss alternative therapies and long-term care with the patient and their referring physician.

How can I receive more information about or refer my patient to the PARTNER II Trial?

For more information or to refer a patient, please call: 410-32-VALVE (410-328-2583)


David A. Zimrin M.D.
Principal Investigator
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Anuj Gupta, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine

Gautam V. Ramani, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Medicine


Patrick N. Odonkor, M.B., Ch.B.
Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology
Interim Director of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology

Cardiac Surgery:

Bartley Griffith, M.D.
Principal Investigator
Professor of Surgery

James S. Gammie, M.D.
Associate Professor of Surgery

Teng C. Lee, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Surgery

Eligibility Criteria for Cohort B (inoperable)

  • Genders Eligible for Study: Both
  • Accepts Health Volunteers: No



  1. Patient has severe aortic valve stenosis per echo: mean gradient >40 mmHg or jet velocity greater than 4.0m/s and an aortic valve area of <0.8 cm2 or indexed EOA <0.5 cm2/m2
  2. NYHA≥ 2
  3. Probability of death or serious, irreversible morbidity > 50%
  4. Patient or patient's legal representative has been informed of the nature of the study and has provided written informed consent


  1. MI ≤1 month before treatment
  2. Congenital unicuspid or bicuspid aortic valve or non-calcified aortic valve
  3. Mixed aortic valve disease
  4. Cardiac procedure resulting in a permanent implant performed within 30 days of the procedure or within 6 months if drug eluting coronary stent implanted
  5. Severe mitral insufficiency
  6. Leukopenia, acute anemia, thrombocytopenia, bleeding diathesis or coagulopathy
  7. Untreated clinically significant coronary artery disease
  8. Hemodynamic or respiratory instability within 30 days of screening
  9. Need for emergency surgery
  10. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  11. Severe ventricular dysfunction
  12. ECHO evidence of intracardiac mass, thrombus or vegetation
  13. Active peptic ulcer or active GI bleeding within 3 months prior to procedure
  14. A known contraindication to anticoagulation or inability to be anticoagulated for the study procedure
  15. Native aortic annulus size <18mm or >25mm
  16. CVA, TIA or cluster within 6 months of the procedure
  17. Renal insufficiency and/or end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis at the time of screening
  18. Estimated life expectancy <12 months due to non-cardiac conditions
  19. Significant aortic disease, such as abdominal aortic or thoracic aneurysm, marked tortuosity, aortic arch atheroma
  20. Illiofemoral vessel characteristics that would preclude safe placement of the study introducer sheath such as severe obstructive calcification, severe tortuosity or vessels size
  21. Participating in an investigational drug or another device study
  22. Enrolled in PARTNER I or withdrawn from the PARTNER I prior to endpoint analysis
  23. Active endocarditis or other active infections within 6 months of procedure
  24. Bulky calcified aortic valve leaflets in close proximity to coronary ostia

This page was last updated: May 22, 2013

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