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Breakthrough 90-minute treatment to replace valve sans open-heart surgery

June 25, 2011 - Washington

Heart valve replacement without open-heart surgery could offer a new option for patients with aortic stenosis who are at high-risk or are considered inoperable, according to a new research.

"This breakthrough technology could save the lives of thousands of patients with heart valve disease who have no other therapeutic options," says Dr. Ziyad Hijazi, director of the Rush Center for Congenital and Structural Heart Disease and interventional cardiologist of the Rush Valve Clinic.

The new treatment is being offered at Rush University Medical Center through a multi-center, phase IIb cohort study called the PARTNER II (Placement of AoRTic traNscathetER valves) trial.

Results from the first phase of the PARTNER trial showed that the rate of death from any cause at one year was 50.7 percent in the patients who received standard therapy, as compared to 30.7 percent of patients treated with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

The transcatheter valve procedures take about 90 minutes, compared with four to six hours for open-heart surgery. In open-heart surgery, the surgeon cuts through the breastbone, stops the heart, removes the valve and replaces it. Open-heart surgery can require a two- to three-month recovery period, compared to only a few days for the transcatheter approach.

"The primary objective of the trial is to reduce death, major stroke and repeat hospitalization in these patients," said Hijazi.

"Additionally, we hope to improve quality-of-life indicators," he added.


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