Medtronic and Loyola University Hospital in Illinois, US, have begun patient enrolment for a clinical trial of a non-surgical heart valve replacement.

Loyola is among the 40 hospitals participating in the trial, which will involve 1,300 patients and offer an alternatives to open-heart surgery for patients who need aortic heart valves.

The device is being tested on patients with severe aortic stenosis, a condition that occurs when the aortic valve is narrowed, restricting blood flow.

Once in place, the artificial valve performs the function of the diseased valve, allowing flow of oxygen-rich blood into the aorta, the body’s main artery.

The device is approved in more than 40 countries and considered an investigational device in the US.