New transcatheter system boosts outlook for aortic stenosis patients, study suggests

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For inoperable and high-risk patients suffering from aortic stenosis, new research may provide some solace. It suggests a new transcatheter aortic valve replacement system can help the heart better pump blood through the body and decrease the risk of heart failure.

In a study published July 12 in the American Heart Association’s medical journal Circulation, Howard Herrmann, MD, the study’s author and a professor and physician at the University of Pennsylvania, found that the survival rate for patients was higher when a valve replacement was completed using the SAPIEN 3 transcatheter system.

The SAPIEN 3 system, manufactured by Edwards Lifesciences, a medical equipment company in Irvine, California, is designed with high radial strength for circularity and optimal hemodynamics and includes an outer layer to prevent leaks.

The study examined more than 500 inoperable and high-risk patients who were treated with the SAPIEN 3 system. Overall, results showed there was an 85 percent chance patients would live for one year if they opted for the SAPIEN 3 over older transcatheter models, suggesting that TAVR should be the preferred therapy method for such patients with aortic stenosis.

“Increased use of these minimalist approaches to transfemoral TAVR, particularly well suited to SAPIEN 3, may represent an opportunity to further improve outcomes with this device in the current era,” Herrmann wrote in the study.

Because of the results, Herrmann recommends that additional research be done to see if SAPIEN 3 would be an appropriate treatment for lower-risk patients.

The trial, funded by Edwards Lifesciences, was limited in that it did not test randomized comparisons to other population samples. Herrmann suggests that it should be explored in future studies.