Aortic Stenosis and TAVI therapies: new recommendations


Durham, North Carolina : After a recent visit to the west coast to interview a cardiac surgeon, I am back on the east coast – spending the week down here in Durham to interview the lung transplant surgeons at Duke.  I’ll be talking about it over at the thoracic surgery portal in a series of articles.

As we brushed on in a previous article, TAVI (transcutaneous aortic valve intervention) is the newest interventional therapy on the block, per se and is garnering a lot of media and medical attention.  One of the biggest concerns from a health care providers’ standpoint – is that we use this therapy appropriately – in the right patients, for maximum benefits.

One of the good side effects of all this media attention is that the undertreatment of aortic stenosis by medical doctors is now being addressed.

Another article – this one from Medpage.com talks about the potential impact of the commercial approval of TAVI in the US.  (Currently it has only been used in the United States as an investigational therapy – meaning that fairly strict criteria have been used in patient selection.)  Once it’s available commercially, physicians can use it at their own discretion, which is what the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) is attempting to address with these statements.  (Like any commercially available product or service, there will be some doctors who will adopt the practice sooner than others and some doctors who will offer it to patients more readily (and even in cases where appropriateness may not have been determined.)

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