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The Most Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement

Posted Sep 24 2010 5:21pm

photo by jscreationzs

Aortic Stenosis Fixed With A Poke Of The Needle?

From my earlier post you will see that there have been several new advances reported this week in cardiology.  The biggest one by far is a study called TAVI or Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation.  This new study has reported some great results with implanting a brand new aortic valve through a simple needlestick during a heart catheterization .

As people get older, the aortic valve frequently becomes hard and narrowed.  This condition is called aortic stenosis .  Aortic stenosis is considered severe when the valve area is less than 1cm².  Greater than 4% of patients over age 85 have aortic stenosis but unfortunately they are considered a poor candidate for traditional open heart surgery to replace the valve by that age. A recent option for older patients has been balloon angioplasty of the valve by heart catheterization but this gives poor results and adds less than a year of optimal results.

The new TAVI study has shown that a prosthetic aortic valve can actually be placed safely over the old, hardened valve by a simple needlestick during heart catheterization.  The results of the study show significant improvement in valve function and much fewer deaths one year after the procedure.  To see a video of this type of procedure, check out the following link:

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