Research: Minimally Invasive Procedure Saves More Lives Than Open-Heart Surgery

Findings revealed to American College of Cardiology, The New England Journal of Medicine

Released: 13-May-2014 1:00 PM EDT
Source Newsroom: Baylor Scott & White Health
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Citations New England Journal of Medicine

Newswise — DALLAS, TX (May 13, 2014) – For the first time, a minimally invasive transcatheter valve – tested by Baylor Research Institute in Dallas (BRI) – has been shown to save more lives than open-heart surgery, according to new research revealed at the American College of Cardiology’s 2014 Scientific Sessions and published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The research is part of a clinical trial that studied the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) procedure, which uses a wired catheter to implant a self-expanding valve device through a small incision in the leg. The procedure is used to treat patients with aortic stenosis, a condition that narrows the aortic valve, affecting blood flow.

As a principal investigator in the Medtronic CoreValve® U.S. Pivotal Trial, Robert C. Stoler, MD, FACC, FSCAI, led the study of patients at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital (BHVH). The hospital was one of 45 national trial sites and the only site in North Texas to participate in the research.

“This is the first time we’ve seen a transcatheter-based therapy do better than open-heart surgery patients,” Dr. Stoler said. “That really opens up a door for treating patients in the future with a far less invasive method of valve replacement.”

According to the study’s findings, patients with the TAVR CoreValve device experienced significantly improved survival ratings (85.8 percent vs. 80.9 percent) at one year, compared to participants who underwent invasive, open-heart surgery to implant replacement valves. Additionally, CoreValve patients showed better quality of life indicators at 30 days, compared with open-heart participants.

“And those results are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Dr. Stoler, adding that BRI is involved in several other studies exploring TAVR’s application to valve patients. “There are new generations of valves coming out from several different manufacturers, and we’re interested to see how those affect outcomes, including stroke.”

Future studies that will be open to patients at Baylor facilities will address those issues, in addition to exploring longevity-related questions about the valve device. Because of those continuing valve-related research efforts, Dr. Stoler said, the future is promising for aortic stenosis patients.

“If you’re a patient and you need an aortic valve replacement, you have more options now,” he said. “Transcatheter valve therapy is going to expand to a bigger patient population, and we’re seeing more patients who now have a chance to be treated with valve replacement. Plus, the new generations of valves are going to have smaller catheter sizes and fewer complications. They’re only getting better.”

In early 2014, the FDA approved TAVR for treatment of patients in the extreme-risk, or inoperable, category. The successful findings of the new research presented at ACC may support FDA approval for TAVR application to high-risk patients.

About Baylor Scott & White Health
Baylor Scott & White Health, the organization formed from the 2013 merger between Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare, is today the largest not-for-profit health care system in the state of Texas. With total assets of $8.6 billion* and serving a geographic area larger than the state of Maine, Baylor Scott & White Health has the vision and resources to provide its patients continued quality care while creating a model system for a dramatically changing health care environment. The organization now includes 46 hospitals, more than 500 patient care sites, more than 6,000 active physicians, 36,000 employees and the Scott & White Health Plan. For More Information visit:
www.BaylorScottandWhite.com

* based on unaudited fiscal year 2014 financial statements
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, Baylor Jack and Jane Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital or Baylor Health Care System. ©2014 Baylor Health Care System

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