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About the EMPOWER Trial

The EMPOWER Trial is studying the investigational* Carillon Mitral Contour System® – a minimally invasive therapy designed to treat people with heart failure and any amount of functional mitral regurgitation (commonly known as FMR – a form of mitral valve leakage).  The Carillon therapy is intended to not only address the underlying cause of FMR, but also the progression of your heart failure with the potential to improve your survival and quality of life.

The EMPOWER Trial is evaluating the ability of the Carillon therapy to do two things:

  • Help people feel better in the near-term by improving their FMR
  • Help people feel better for the long term by reducing the size of the left ventricle of their heart – called favorable remodeling – to help the heart function better.  Favorable remodeling is associated with improved survival, reduced heart failure-related hospitalizations, and enhanced long-term quality of life.1,2,3

Of interest, this is the first randomized, blinded, sham-controlled mitral repair clinical trial in the U.S.  The EMPOWER Trial is also unique in that it that has the following aspects:

  • Allows for alternative therapies within the trial, so none of your therapeutic options are sacrificed for trial participation
  • At the end of the initial 24-month study period, people in the control group that did not receive Carillon therapy may be eligible to be treated at that time
  • The trial is evaluating treatment as an early disease intervention for MR grade I-II, in addition to treating later stage patients with MR grade III-IV

The EMPOWER Trial will be enrolling up to 300 people with heart failure and mild-to-severe FMR (MR grade I-IV) in the U.S. and Europe to assess outcomes.

Study Rationale

When the mitral valve does not close tightly, causing it to leak, this condition is called mitral regurgitation.

Although there are different types of mitral regurgitation, the Carillon therapy is designed to treat functional mitral regurgitation (FMR), also known as secondary mitral regurgitation (SMR). This means that the valve leakage is caused by another condition and is secondary to the original cause.

FMR develops as a result of things such as a heart attack or coronary artery disease, where the damaged portion of the heart is no longer able to function properly. This causes the healthy part of the heart to work harder to pump the same amount of blood, enlarging the heart and resulting in heart failure. The enlarged portion of the heart, typically the left ventricle, exerts pressure on the mitral valve, causing it to stretch and preventing it from closing completely, which in turn causes blood to flow backward through the mitral valve. FMR can be compared to a door frame being too big for the doors, resulting in gaps and an incomplete seal.

door ajar simulating leaky heart valve

Heart failure medication typically helps address FMR symptoms for people with heart failure but may not impact the structural root cause of the disease, which is the enlarged left ventricle. An enlarged ventricle is associated with increased mortality (death), heart failure-related hospitalizations, and a poor long-term quality of life. Device options currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are fairly restrictive, only intended for individuals with moderate-to-severe mitral regurgitation (MR grade III-IV) and do not address the root cause of the FMR.

Signs & Symptoms of FMR

Shortness of breath or cough
Fatigue (feeling tired and worn out)
Abnormal sounds of the heart heard through a stethoscope
Heart palpitations or fluttering heartbeat
Swollen feet or ankles

What is Being Studied?

The investigational Carillon Mitral Contour System is a minimally invasive therapy – i.e., not a surgical approach. The permanent, investigational Carillon device is placed using a nonsurgical, catheter-based technique in the coronary sinus, a vein on the outside of the heart that is next to the mitral valve. During the procedure, the Carillon device is cinched around the mitral valve. This is designed to do two things: reduce your mitral valve leak, and ultimately, reduce the size of your enlarged left ventricle. This approach is different from any other available treatment and it is intended to both improve your heart failure symptoms as well as the function of your heart over time. The implant procedure usually takes about an hour and is performed in a catheterization lab.

CDI Implant
Carillon therapy comparison

The investigational Carillon therapy has been evaluated in several safety studies, including a blinded, randomized, sham-controlled study, that demonstrated that patients treated with Carillon therapy and heart failure medications were more likely to have reduced mitral valve leakage and a reduction in left ventricle size than people on standard medical therapy alone.4

Carillon therapy has been commercially available in Europe since 2012 and has been used to treat thousands of people worldwide. However, it is an investigational device in the U.S. 

In the Carillon procedure:

  • No general anesthesia is required
  • No additional or changes in medications are needed as a result of the Carillon therapy
  • The Carillon device does not interfere with future heart failure treatment options – if required

Thousands of people have been treated with Carillon therapy worldwide

Carillon demo cover

View the Carillon procedure

Find a Study Site

Click on  to contact a center near you to see if you are eligible for the EMPOWER Trial


Am I a Candidate?

You may be a candidate for the EMPOWER Trial if you:

  • Have been diagnosed with heart failure and mild-to-severe FMR
  • Have symptoms of heart failure, such as difficulty walking up stairs, and require heart failure medications
  • Do not have another device located in your coronary sinus. Some types of pacemakers, called CRT, are implanted in the coronary sinus and would prevent access or deployment of the Carillon therapy
  • Have not been hospitalized due to heart failure in the past 30 days
  • Are not participating in another heart failure trial

If all of the above are generally applicable to you, you may be eligible to participate in the EMPOWER Trial

Why should I participate?

Why Should I Participate?

Although investigative, the Carillon therapy has the potential to help earlier in your disease state and is designed to provide benefits otherwise unavailable through currently available therapies.

Other notable aspects of the therapy and trial include:

  • A short, minimally invasive procedure
  • Designed with safety in mind – no required change in medications, no requirement for general anesthesia and no blood thinners required as a result of the Carillon therapy
  • People in the control group, at 24 months, who did not receive Carillon therapy may be eligible to be treated at that time
  • The potential to be treated earlier in the course of your disease, before your disease substantially progresses and irreversible damage has been done
  • The Carillon implant is located outside, but next to, your mitral valve which keeps all future heart failure treatment options open
  • The opportunity to be part of research that may help other people with the same condition improve their lives

Learn more about the EMPOWER Trial

I’d like more information on the EMPOWER Trial

    1. Kramer DG, Trikalinos TA, Kent DM, Antonopoulos GV, Konstam MA, Udelson JE. Quantitative evaluation of drug or device effects on ventricular remodeling as predictors of therapeutic effects on mortality in patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction: a Meta-Analytic approach. J Am Coll Cardiol.2010;56(5):392–406.
    2. Yu C, Bleeker GB, Fung JW, Schallj MJ, Zhang Q, van der Wall EE, Chan Y, Kong S, Bax JJ. Left Ventricular Reverse Remodeling but Not Clinical Improvement Predicts Long-Term Survival After Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy. Circulation. 2005;112(11):1580-1586
    3. Aimo A, Gaggin HK, Barison A, Emdin M, Januzzi Jr JL. Imaging, Biomarker, and Clinical Predictors of Cardiac Remodeling in Heart Failure with Reduced Ejection Fraction. JACC: Heart Failure. 2019;7(9):782-794.
    4. Witte K, et al. A Randomized Sham-Controlled Study of Percutaneous Mitral Annuloplasty in Functional Mitral Regurgitation: The REDUCE FMR Trial. JACC: Heart Failure. DOI: 10.1016/j.jchf.2019.06.011

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      Cardiac Dimensions logo - horizontal

      © 2023 Cardiac Dimensions. All rights reserved.

      *NOTE: The Carillon Mitral Contour System has received CE Mark (0344) and is available for sale in Europe and other countries that recognize CE Mark.

      CAUTION: Investigational Device. Limited by United States law to investigational use.

      Cardiac Dimensions logo - horizontal

      © 2022 Cardiac Dimensions. All rights reserved.

      *NOTE: The Carillon Mitral Contour System has received CE Mark (0344) and is available for sale in Europe and other countries that recognize CE Mark.

      CAUTION: Investigational Device. Limited by United States law to investigational use.