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Rivista sulle Malattie del Cuore e dei Vasi

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2006 February;54(1):23-30

lingua: Inglese

Percutaneous valve replacement: weird or wonderful?

Thiem A., Cremer J., Lutter G.

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel School of Medicine, Kiel, Germany


Percutaneous treatment of valve diseases has proven to be an effective alternative to open surgery since the early 1980’s. For most patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis, use of percutaneous catheter-based techniques as balloon valvuloplasty for the treatment of both congenital pulmonary stenosis as well as trans-septal commisurotomy has become a good therapeutic option. Furthermore in the mid 1990’s in vitro studies demonstrated the feasibility of percutaneous catheter-based valve implantation first in pulmonary and subsequently in aortic position. Afterwards initial in vivo implantations were successfully undertaken. Limitations of this new branch of transcatheter-based techniques are: risk of embolization due to predilatation; difficult deployment; migration of valved stent; paravalvular leakage and limited durability of the implanted valve. Hence, many advances and improvements are necessary prior to pronouncing a new real alternative and safe therapeutic option. Up to now the gold standard for the treatment of heart valve disease is still open surgical valve repair and replacement. Percutaneous valve replacement procedures offer substantial advantages both to patients and medical care providers. From a medical point of view, they may help reduce surgical risks, offer a less invasive procedure, lower complication rates and shorten rehabilitation times in future. From an economic standpoint, shorter hospital stays result in overall cost reduction.

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