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Concept: Valvular heart disease

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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

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To determine the feasibility of original aortic valve reconstruction (AVRec) for patients with aortic stenosis (AS), 416 consecutive cases were reviewed.Methods and Results:AVRecs for AS were performed for 416 patients from April 2007 through April 2013. All 416 patients were retrospectively reviewed. One hundred and fourteen patients had bicuspid valves and 16 had unicuspid valves. There were 182 men and 234 women. Mean age was 71.2±12.0 years old. On preoperative echocardiography, peak pressure gradient averaged 79.0±33.6 mmHg. Surgical annular diameter was 20.1±2.8 mm. The procedure is based on independent tricuspid replacement by autologous pericardium using original sizing apparatus and template. There was no conversion to prosthetic valve replacement. There were 8 in-hospital mortalities due to non-cardiac cause. On postoperative echocardiography, peak pressure gradient averaged 21.2±10.7 mmHg 1 week after surgery and 14.3±5.0 mmHg 5.5 years after surgery. Four reoperations were done for infective endocarditis. The other 412 patients had less than mild regurgitation. No thrombo-embolic events were recorded. The mean follow-up period was 25.2±17.5 months. Freedom from reoperation was 96.7% with 73-month follow-up.

Concepts: Heart, Surgery, Infective endocarditis, Tricuspid valve, Aortic valve, Valvular heart disease, Valve, Torr

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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 ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01586910 .).

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

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Valve stress echocardiography (VSE) can be performed as exercise stress echocardiography (ESE) or dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) depending on the patient’s clinical status, severity and type of valve disease. ESE combines exercise testing with two-dimensional grey scale and Doppler echocardiography during exercise. Thus, it provides objective assessment of symptomatic status (exercise test), as well as exercise-induced changes of a series of echocardiographic parameters (different depending on the valve disease type), which yield prognostic information in individual patients and help in a better treatment planning. DSE is useful in symptomatic patients with low-gradient aortic stenosis. It clarifies its severity and helps in assessing surgical risk in patients with severe disease and systolic dysfunction. It can be also used to test valve haemodynamics in asymptomatic patients with significant mitral stenosis unable to perform an exercise test or to test the left ventricle response, namely to test viability, in patients with ischaemic secondary mitral regurgitation. VSE has taught us that history taking, clinical examination and resting echocardiography give an ‘incomplete picture’ of the disease in patients presenting with a severe valve disease. Therefore, its use should be encouraged in such patients.

Concepts: Medical terms, Cardiology, Heart, Doppler echocardiography, Echocardiography, Mitral valve, Left ventricle, Valvular heart disease

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The creation of a living heart valve is a much-wanted alternative for current valve prostheses that suffer from limited durability and thromboembolic complications. Current strategies to create such valves, however, require the use of cells for in vitro culture, or decellularized human- or animal-derived donor tissue for in situ engineering. Here, we propose and demonstrate proof-of-concept of in situ heart valve tissue engineering using a synthetic approach, in which a cell-free, slow degrading elastomeric valvular implant is populated by endogenous cells to form new valvular tissue inside the heart. We designed a fibrous valvular scaffold, fabricated from a novel supramolecular elastomer, that enables endogenous cells to enter and produce matrix. Orthotopic implantations as pulmonary valve in sheep demonstrated sustained functionality up to 12 months, while the implant was gradually replaced by a layered collagen and elastic matrix in pace with cell-driven polymer resorption. Our results offer new perspectives for endogenous heart valve replacement starting from a readily-available synthetic graft that is compatible with surgical and transcatheter implantation procedures.

Concepts: Surgery, Polymer, Implantation, Valvular heart disease, Valve, Valves, Check valve, Ball valve

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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