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New treatment for severe aortic stenosis shown to save lives, Stanford researchers say
Date:9/22/2010

he diseased valve, that was not a realistic option for the specific patients selected for this study, who were too sick or too old to undergo such an operation. For them, the standard of care is medical therapy.

At one year after randomization, 30.7 percent of patients who had received the percutaneous valve replacement had died compared with 50.7 percent of those who received standard medical therapy.

"The most impressive finding in the study is the 20 percent reduction in mortality," said William Fearon, MD, associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at Stanford, who also participated in the study. "This is very dramatic. The effect was so powerful that by just treating five people you can save one life. But beyond just the survival benefit, the improvement in the patients' quality of life based on their symptoms and their ability to exercise is dramatic."

Stanford enrolled more than 80 patients in the PARTNER study, of which 14 were these very sick patients. Jana Pausa, 76, of Atherton, Calif., who had both severe aortic stenosis and lung disease that made her unsuitable for open-heart surgery to replace the diseased heart valve, is one such patient.

"Getting dressed or anything was absolutely debilitating," said Pausa, who was randomized to have the device implanted a year and a half ago. "Before the surgery, I used a walker. Sleeping was difficult because I didn't feel like I could breathe. I had no energy. When I woke up out of surgery, I immediately felt the difference. I could breathe - for sure it saved my life."

Now she's walking and playing with her grandchildren and planning for her husband's 80th birthday party.

Many patients with severe aortic stenosis come into the hospital in a wheelchair, said Alan Yeung, MD, the Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine and chief of Stanford's division of cardiovascular medicine, who was also involved in the study. "Nobody thinks they're going to walk out of the hos
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Contact: Tracie White
traciew@stanford.edu
650-723-7628
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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