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Concept: Valvular heart disease


OBJECTIVESThe Trifecta valve (St. Jude Medical) was introduced into clinical practice as a tri-leaflet stented pericardial valve designed for supra-annular placement in the aortic position. The present study aims to evaluate the preliminary results with this new bioprosthesis.METHODSSeventy patients underwent aortic valve replacement (AVR) with the Trifecta valve between August 2010 and December 2011. Thirty-three patients were male and 37 were female (52.9%). Mean age was 74.65 ± 7.63 (range 47-90 years). Prevalent cause of AVR was aortic stenosis in 64 (91.43%) patients. The mean preoperative pressure gradient was 50 ± 17 (range 20-84 mmHg), and the mean aortic valve area was 0.77 ± 0.33. Five (7.14%) patients were operated on due to aortic valve endocarditis. One patient was operated on due to isolated, severe aortic insufficiency. All patients were in New York Heart Association functional class III or IV. Twenty-eight (40%) patients underwent concomitant procedures.RESULTSConcomitant procedures were coronary artery bypass grafting (n = 25), mitral valve replacement (n = 1), ablation of atrial fibrillation (n = 1) and septal myomectomy (n = 1). There were no intraoperative deaths. The 30-day in-hospital mortality was 2.85% (2 of 70). One late death occurred during the in-hospital stay due to a multiorgan failure on postoperative day 60. There were 2 (2.85%) perioperative strokes. Mean pressure gradient decreased significantly from a preoperative value of 50 ± 17 mmHg to an intraoperative gradient of 9 ± 4 mmHg (Table 3). The mean gradients were 14, 11, 11, 8 and 6 mmHg for the 19, 21, 23, 25 and 27 mm valve size, respectively. No prosthesis dislocation, endocarditis, valve thrombosis or relevant aortic regurgitation was observed at discharge.CONCLUSIONSThe initial experience with the Trifecta valve bioprosthesis shows excellent outcomes with favourable early haemodynamics. Further studies with longer follow-up are needed to confirm those preliminary results.

Concepts: Cardiology, Heart, Mitral valve prolapse, Aortic valve, Valvular heart disease, Aortic valve stenosis, Aortic valve replacement, Aortic insufficiency


Background Although transcatheter aortic-valve replacement (TAVR) is an accepted alternative to surgery in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are at high surgical risk, less is known about comparative outcomes among patients with aortic stenosis who are at intermediate surgical risk. Methods We evaluated the clinical outcomes in intermediate-risk patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis in a randomized trial comparing TAVR (performed with the use of a self-expanding prosthesis) with surgical aortic-valve replacement. The primary end point was a composite of death from any cause or disabling stroke at 24 months in patients undergoing attempted aortic-valve replacement. We used Bayesian analytical methods (with a margin of 0.07) to evaluate the noninferiority of TAVR as compared with surgical valve replacement. Results A total of 1746 patients underwent randomization at 87 centers. Of these patients, 1660 underwent an attempted TAVR or surgical procedure. The mean (±SD) age of the patients was 79.8±6.2 years, and all were at intermediate risk for surgery (Society of Thoracic Surgeons Predicted Risk of Mortality, 4.5±1.6%). At 24 months, the estimated incidence of the primary end point was 12.6% in the TAVR group and 14.0% in the surgery group (95% credible interval [Bayesian analysis] for difference, -5.2 to 2.3%; posterior probability of noninferiority, >0.999). Surgery was associated with higher rates of acute kidney injury, atrial fibrillation, and transfusion requirements, whereas TAVR had higher rates of residual aortic regurgitation and need for pacemaker implantation. TAVR resulted in lower mean gradients and larger aortic-valve areas than surgery. Structural valve deterioration at 24 months did not occur in either group. Conclusions TAVR was a noninferior alternative to surgery in patients with severe aortic stenosis at intermediate surgical risk, with a different pattern of adverse events associated with each procedure. (Funded by Medtronic; SURTAVI number, NCT01586910 .).

Concepts: Medical terms, Hospital, Surgery, Physician, Bayes' theorem, Blood transfusion, Valvular heart disease, Bayesian statistics


A 69-year-old man, previously independent and with a pre-existing metallic aortic valve, presented with a history of fevers, confusion and malaise and was diagnosed with prosthetic valve endocarditis. Blood cultures taken on presentation grew Streptococcus sanguinis and vegetations were confirmed on transoesophageal echocardiogram. He had had a dental procedure 10 days before presentation but had not received prophylactic antibiotics; he had been receiving antibiotic prophylaxis for dental treatment up until the change in NICE guidelines in 2008. He was treated with high dose antibiotics and was referred for cardiothoracic surgery, but developed a cerebrovascular event, thought to be embolic, and deteriorated and died. Given that the patient had a metallic aortic valve and poor dentition, and therefore was at increased risk of infective endocarditis, should the new guidelines have been followed so rigidly, particularly as American and European guidelines still recommend the use of antibiotic prophylaxis in this patient group?

Concepts: Bacteria, Stroke, Surgery, United Kingdom, Infective endocarditis, Valvular heart disease, Streptococcus sanguinis, Endocarditis


OBJECTIVE: Calcific aortic valve disease (CAVD) is a major public health problem with no effective treatment available other than surgery. We previously showed that mature heart valves calcify in response to retinoic acid (RA) treatment through downregulation of the SRY transcription factor Sox9. In this study, we investigated the effects of excess vitamin A and its metabolite RA on heart valve structure and function in vivo and examined the molecular mechanisms of RA signaling during the calcification process in vitro. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using a combination of approaches, we defined calcific aortic valve disease pathogenesis in mice fed 200 IU/g and 20 IU/g of retinyl palmitate for 12 months at molecular, cellular, and functional levels. We show that mice fed excess vitamin A develop aortic valve stenosis and leaflet calcification associated with increased expression of osteogenic genes and decreased expression of cartilaginous markers. Using a pharmacological approach, we show that RA-mediated Sox9 repression and calcification is regulated by classical RA signaling and requires both RA and retinoid X receptors. CONCLUSIONS: Our studies demonstrate that excess vitamin A dietary intake promotes heart valve calcification in vivo. Therefore suggesting that hypervitaminosis A could serve as a new risk factor of calcific aortic valve disease in the human population.

Concepts: Gene, In vitro, Aortic valve, Retinol, Vitamin A, Valvular heart disease, Valves, Aortic valve stenosis


Prolapse of mitral valve leaflets is a frequent disorder and the most common cause of severe mitral regurgitation in western countries. However, little is known about the effects of altitude on mitral valve prolapse. We studied the prevalence and echocardiographic characteristics of mitral valve prolapse at moderately high altitude and sea level.

Concepts: Mitral valve, Mitral regurgitation, Mitral valve prolapse, Regurgitation, Western world, Western culture, Valvular heart disease, Mitral valve replacement


Increased risk of heart valve disease during treatment with certain dopamine agonists, such as cabergoline, has been observed in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The same compound is used to treat hyperprolactinemia, but it is unknown whether this also associates with heart valve disease.

Concepts: Cohort study, Parkinson's disease, Prolactinoma, Pramipexole, Ropinirole, Cabergoline, Valvular heart disease, Bromocriptine


Cabergoline (CAB) has been found to be associated with increased risk of cardiac valve regurgitation in Parkinson’s disease (PD), whereas several retrospective analyses failed to detect a similar relation in hyperprolactinemic patients. The current study aimed at investigating cardiac valve disease before and after 24 and 60 months of continuous treatment with CAB only in patients with hyperprolactinemia.

Concepts: Parkinson's disease, Erectile dysfunction, Dopamine, Prolactinoma, Cabergoline, Valvular heart disease, Bromocriptine, Pergolide


Functional mitral regurgitation remains one of the most complex and controversial aspect-for both clinicians and surgeons-in the management of mitral valve disease in the context of left ventricular dysfunction. Given the current absence of clear guidelines, as well as of results from randomized trials comparing the outcome of different surgical strategies potentially available for this complex scenario, surgical decision making for these high-risk patients poses a real dilemma in the daily practice. The resulting surgical choices often represent a questionable combination of surgeons' personal feeling, local supplies, patients' life expectancy and risk/benefit ratios, opinions and statements of the experts, and so on. This review provides an overview of the present knowledge about the complex pathophysiology underlying functional mitral regurgitation, the different pathophysiology-guided surgical techniques suggested in the last decades, as well as the current results following these different surgical techniques.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Mitral valve, Mitral regurgitation, Mitral valve prolapse, The Current, Valvular heart disease


Rothia mucilaginosa is increasingly recognized as an emerging opportunistic pathogen associated with prosthetic device infections. Infective endocarditis is one of the most common clinical presentations. We report a case of R. mucilaginosa prosthetic valve endocarditis and review the literature of prosthetic device infections caused by this organism.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Opportunistic infection, Infective endocarditis, Prosthesis, Valvular heart disease, Artificial heart valve, Endocarditis


The risk factors for aortic and mitral valve diseases that require surgical repair such as congenital bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) and mitral valve prolapse include acquired clinical factors and genetic influences. Whether race affects the prevalence of certain valvular diseases has not been sufficiently investigated. Through the Cleveland Clinic’s Cardiovascular Information Registry, we evaluated the data from 40,419 patients who had undergone aortic valve surgery, mitral valve surgery, and/or coronary artery bypass grafting from 1993 to 2007. Of these patients, 38,366 were white and 2,053 were black. The prospective evaluation of valvular disease was coded, identifying the etiology and morphology by echocardiographic, surgical, and pathologic inspection. At baseline, compared to white patients, the black patients were younger, more often women, had a greater body mass index, and a greater prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, tobacco use, and renal disease. The prevalence of congenital BAV and mitral valve prolapse was considerably lower in blacks than in whites (9% vs 25%, p <0.001, and 27% vs 52%, p <0.001, respectively), as was the presence of calcific aortic stenosis (14% vs 28%; p <0.001), pathologically determined aortic valve calcium (50% vs 67%; p <0.001), and mitral valve chordal rupture (13% vs 31%; p <0.001). In conclusion, in the present large surgical series, the valve etiologies and morphology differed among blacks and whites. Despite an adverse cardiovascular risk profile, blacks had a significantly lower prevalence of valvular calcium and degeneration than did the whites and a lower prevalence of congenital BAV and mitral valve prolapse. Our findings offer insight into the influence of race on the development of mitral valve disease and congenital BAV.

Concepts: Atherosclerosis, Heart, Left ventricle, Mitral valve prolapse, Cardiac anatomy, Aortic valve, Valvular heart disease, Bicuspid aortic valve