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Leading Cardiovascular Organizations Release Credentialing Recommendations for Heart Valve Replacement Procedure
Date:3/1/2012

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Four leading heart organizations representing cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons released initial recommendations today for creating and maintaining transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) programs. The recommendations are aimed at ensuring optimal care for patients with aortic stenosis, a form of valvular heart disease, as use of the new TAVR procedure grows. 

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of TAVR in November 2011, interest in the procedure has quickly grown among cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons as well as patients, prompting efforts by professional medical societies to identify institutional and physician credentialing criteria for performing the procedure. The recommendations published today represent a joint collaboration of cardiovascular specialty societies, including the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF), the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), the American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) and the Society for Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

TAVR is a minimally invasive procedure found by the FDA to be reasonably safe and effective in the treatment of patients with severe aortic stenosis who cannot undergo surgery and have the absence of comorbidities as described in the FDA label. Prior to the availability of TAVR, these patients had few, if any, treatment options for aortic stenosis, which can lead to heart failure and death. During TAVR, physicians use a catheter to thread the replacement valve from a blood vessel in the groin to the heart's diseased aortic valve, which is then replaced with the new valve.

"As new technologies begin to be incorporated into cardiovascular practice, it is the responsibility of the medical societies to work together to develop standards for optimal patient care," said Carl Tommaso, M.D., chair of the document writing committee and medical director of the cardia
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SOURCE Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions
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