Improvement to Self-Expanding Stents In Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements

Improvement to Self-Expanding Stents In Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacements

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“Heart valve disease” refers to the potentially life-threatening condition in which a patient’s heart valves do not operate properly. One cause of heart valve disease is regurgitation, in which some amount of backflow is present, causing hemodynamic problems. However this type of condition most often affects the mitral valve, and its treatment has evolved to avoid valve replacement in favor of reparative techniques2, 4. For the aortic valve, the most common type of dysfunction is aortic stenosis, in which the flaps of the heart valves can no longer open fully, and not enough blood is able to pass through. In contrast to treatment for prolapse in the mitral valve, which is the main cause of regurgitation, aortic stenosis (AS) is primarily resolved through valve replacement. This is because aortic stenosis only causes symptoms after it is past the point of being considered severe3.
Stenosis most frequently occurs as the result of a calcification, making it especially prevalent among senior citizens, who are more prone to calcium deposits. A John Muir Health patient advisory article cites a figure of 1,500,000 patients living with AS in the United States, 250,000 of whom have what is considered to be severe, but non-symptomatic AS, and 250,000 of whom have severe, symptomatic AS. Half of those with symptomatic AS survive an average of only two years5. The widespread extend of aortic heart valve disease makes it a key target for the medical device industry, especially because of the patients’ range of age. The fact that many older patients also suffer from other illnesses associated with old age makes open-heart valve replacement non-ideal. Many patients would not survive the trauma of such a surgery. Furthermore, open-heart surger...

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...placement. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from
(2) Bhimji, S., MD, Ph. D. (2012, May 14). Heart valve surgery: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from
(3) What Causes Heart Valve Disease? (2012, November 15). Retrieved April 9, 2014, from
(4) What is Heart Valve Disease? (2011, November 16). Retrieved April 20, 2014, from
(5) U.S. Aortic Stenosis Disease Prevalence & Treatment Statistics. (n.d.). Facts and Figures. Retrieved April 30, 2014, from!prettyPhoto

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