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

pital. These patients are now able to go shopping, to spend time with their family. People can have a good quality of life."

The study did show though that patients paid a price for the procedure, Miller said. Patients who had the device implanted suffered higher rates of stroke: 5 percent vs. 1 percent. They also had more major vascular complications - 16 percent vs. 1 percent - and bleeding due to the size of the catheter.

Future studies are planned to determine the durability of the TAVI valves and also to determine whether this procedure may be beneficial in other lower-risk and younger patients for whom open-heart surgery is a low-risk and durable option.

The trial used the Edwards SAPIEN valve, which costs about $20,000 but is not yet commercially available in the United States and does not have approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The valve is made of a stainless-steel stent and cow pericardium.

The procedure, which takes about two hours, involves inserting a catheter (or tube) through the femoral artery in the groin. In this TAVI approach, the catheter travels up the aorta to the heart and crosses the severely stenotic aortic valve, where the new valve is deployed. The entire concept, starting with patient selection, is a major team effort; the interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons work together with cardiac anesthesiologists and a cardiologist echocardiographer throughout the procedure using fluoroscopy and transesophageal echocardiography to guide the valve positioning and deployment without cutting the chest open.

The prosthetic heart valve is collapsed down over a balloon over the catheter. After it's been positioned precisely across the diseased aortic valve, the balloon is inflated with saline and the valve expands, crushing the diseased valve and enabling the heart to pump blood to the body much more effectively.


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Contact: Tracie White
traciew@stanford.edu
650-723-7628
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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