Nonsurgical Fix Could Replace Open-Heart Surgery, Study Suggests
WASHINGTON — A new study gives a big
boost to fixing a bad aortic valve, the heart's main gate, without
open-heart surgery. Survival rates were better one year later for people
who had a new valve placed through a tube into an artery instead.
results were reported Saturday at an American College of Cardiology
conference in Washington and prompted some doctors to predict that in
the near future, far fewer people will be having the traditional
"It's going to be very
hard to tell a patient that if they need an aortic valve, surgery is
going to be their best option," said one of the conference leaders, Dr.
Prediman K. Shah of Cedars Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles.
hundred thousand Americans have a bad aortic valve, which can stiffen
and narrow with age, keeping blood from passing through as it should.
Until a few years ago, the only solution was a major operation to open
the chest, cut out the bad valve and sew in a new one.
That changed in 2011, when Edwards
Lifesciences Inc. won federal approval for an expandable valve that
could fit in a catheter into a leg artery, guided to the heart and
placed inside the old valve. Studies showed survival was comparable to
or a little better with it than with surgery, but strokes were more
common after the catheter approach, making some leery of it.
this year, a rival device — Medtronic Inc.'s CoreValve — was approved
for treating people at too high risk to have surgery. The new study
tested it in nearly 800 people less sick — eligible for the operation
but still with elevated risks.
One year after treatment, 19 percent of the surgery patients but only 14 percent of those given a CoreValve had died.
"It's a great leap
forward" for fixing valves through blood vessels, said Dr. David
Kandzari of Piedmont Heart Institute in Atlanta.
study was paid for by Medtronic, and many study leaders consult for
Medtronic, Edwards or other heart device makers. Results also were
published online by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Wednesday, August 23 2017 11:49 PM EDT2017-08-24 03:49:44 GMT
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