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Survival Advantage for TAVR Over Surgery in High-Risk Patients (29 Mar 2014)

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Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), which has been slowly and cautiously entering the clinical arena, will probably get a big boost from a new trial showing a significant mortality advtange for TAVR over traditional surgery. Results from the U.S. CoreValve High-Risk Study were presented at the American College of Cardiology in Washington, DC, and published…

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ACC.14 Preview: Renal Denervation, TAVR Comparisons, and More (24 Mar 2014)

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The ACC begins this Saturday in Washington, DC. Here’s a preview of some of the most highly anticipated late-breaking clinical trials: On Saturday morning at the opening session the world will finally learn more about the failure of Symplicity HTN-3, the Medtronic trial of renal denervation. Until recently, renal denervation was thought to be an…

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rAAA Patients More Likely to Get Surgery and Survive in the U.S. Than in England (13 Mar 2014)

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Patients with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) have better outcomes in the United States than in England according to a new study published in the Lancet. Researchers at the University of London compared hospital data from 11,799 rAAA patients in England with 23,838 rAAA patients in the U.S. They found that U.S. patients were more likely…

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Achieving Consensus for the 2014 ACC/AHA Valvular Heart Disease Guideline (13 Mar 2014)

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Catherine M. Otto, MD and Rick Akira Nishimura, MD

The writing committee co-chairs of the 2014 ACC/AHA Valvular Heart Disease Guideline discuss how the committee achieved consensus on the future treatment of valvular disease.

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French Surgeons Perform First Totally Endoscopic Aortic Valve Replacement (11 Mar 2014)

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Surgeons in France report that they have performed the first totally endoscopic aortic valve replacement (TEAVR) in two human patients. Their paper has been published in the the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. The new procedure may enable surgeons to replace the aortic valve without opening the chest, though it will still require cardiopulmonary bypass and…

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4 Deaths Linked to Thoratec HeartMate II LVAS (5 Mar 2014)

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Thoratec Corporation on Tuesday issued an urgent safety advisory about a serious problem with a key component of the HeartMate II LVAS system. The company said four patients had died and five had a loss of consciousness or other symptoms of hypoperfusion. The episodes occurred when patients and caregivers “experienced difficulties with the process of changing from a…

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New Guidelines Issued for Valvular Heart Disease (3 Mar 2014)

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The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology today released new practice guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease (VHD). Among its most notable features, the new document provides a new system of classification for VHD and lowers the threshold for interventions, including, for the first time, transcatheter as well…

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Tooth Extraction Prior to Cardiac Surgery May Not Be a Good Idea (27 Feb 2014)

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People with an infected or abscessed tooth are at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. They are at particular risk for developing a serious infection during surgery, including endocarditis. Because of this risk, in order to reduce the risk of infection many patients undergo dental extraction prior to having a planned cardiac surgery. Now, however, a…

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Dangerous Rapid Calcification Observed In Pediatric Patients After Aortic Valve Replacement (21 Jan 2014)

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Pediatric cardiac surgeons at Boston Children’s Hospital are warning the medical community about a potentially fatal problem in children and young adults who received a bioprosthetic valve manufactured by Sorin. The surgeons initially became concerned when a young, asymptomatic patient died suddenly after her valve underwent rapid calcification, only 7 months after a routine follow-up echocardiogram found…

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FDA Grants Earlier Than Expected Approval for Medtronic’s CoreValve (20 Jan 2014)

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The FDA today approved Medtronic’s CoreValve transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) system for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are unable to undergo conventional open-heart surgery. The approval came several months ahead of expectations and without an FDA advisory panel meeting. The approval was based largely on results from the Extreme Risk Study of the…

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