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Structural Heart

 - Levi Watkins

Levi Watkins, Jr., MD, a pioneering cardiac surgeon known for both clinical and civil rights achievements, died April 11 of complications from a stroke. He was 70 years old.

 - Red Blood Cells

A randomized trial of patients undergoing complex cardiac surgery found that the duration of red blood cells stored for transfusions was not associated with a significant change in the Multiple Organ Dysfunction Score seven days after the operation.

 - DirectFlowTAVR

The FDA has allowed Direct Flow Medical to expand its pivotal trial to include high-risk patients, more centers and comparison with a commercially available transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) valve.

 - Red Blood Cells

The FDA expanded the labeling for a mechanical aortic valve by approving a lower International Normalized Ratio (INR) that is closer to an unmedicated range.

 - structural heart, Medtronic CoreValve

Medtronic snagged another victory for its CoreValve device with expanded FDA approval of its use in valve-in-valve procedures in inoperable and high-risk patients.


More Stories

ACC.15: PARTNER I outcomes equal for TAVR, surgery at 5 years

High-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis had similar outcomes at five years in both arms of the PARTNER I trial, a finding that the presenter at the American College of Cardiology scientific session called a win for the intervention.

ACC.15: CoreValve’s advantage over surgery widens at 2 years

So it wasn’t a fluke. Two-year results from the CoreValve pivotal trial for high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis reaffirmed that the transcatheter aortic valve replacement device is superior to standard surgery. The results were presented March 15 at the American College of Cardiology scientific session.

Benefit of restrictive transfusions with coronary surgery put in doubt

Secondary analysis of data from the TITRe2 trial found restrictive transfusion thresholds following cardiac surgery not superior to liberal thresholds when evaluating morbidity and cost at three months.

TAVR death rate rises to 23.7 percent at 1 year in registry analysis

Updating a prior report on 30-day transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) outcomes of Medicare patients, researchers found several characteristics significantly associated with one-year mortality, according to an article published March 10 in JAMA.

An ACC highlight & why it matters

Here is what I am looking forward to at the American College of Cardiology’s confab next weekend—besides warm weather and sunshine.

Early discharge safe with minimal anesthesia, transfemoral TAVR

French researchers suggest that with the right transcatheter aortic valve, the right approach, local anesthesia and minimal complications, patients can be discharged early with no added risk. 

Some risks for cardiac death post-TAVR may be avoided

In an international, real-world setting, two-thirds of late transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) cardiac deaths could be traced back to advanced heart failure and sudden cardiac death. Researchers found, however, some factors that led to increased risks in these patients were modifiable. 

FDA approves Melody transcatheter pulmonary valve

The FDA approved a transcatheter artificial heart valve for sale in the U.S. This applies to both Medtronic's Melody Transcatheter Pulmonary Valve and its delivery catheter, the Ensemble Transcatheter Valve Delivery System.

Post-TAVR pacemaker may increase repeat hospitalization, mortality

Pacemaker implantation after transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) may increase repeat hospitalization and mortality risks at 30 days and one year, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Tiny 3D Printed Hearts Make a Huge Impact

Imagine, if you will, a tiny heart. This heart, no bigger than a walnut, has some real problems. It belongs to a baby who, without surgery, would never survive. How do you fix it? Where do you start?

Cardiac surgeon dies after hospital shooting

Michael J. Davidson, MD, director of endovascular cardiac surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, died late Tuesday after being shot twice at the hospital’s heart center.

3 TAVR valves equal on device success, mortality at 30 days

A study comparing three transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) devices found them similarly effective at 30 days. 

San Francisco VA shares experience opening TAVR program

Installing a state-of-the-art hybrid cardiac cath lab and developing a successful transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) program are necessarily complex. The San Francisco Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center detailed its process in an article published online Jan. 14 in JAMA Surgery.

Signals point to overtesting for cardiac biomarkers of ACS

An estimated 8.5 million patients may have been tested for cardiac biomarkers despite the absence of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) symptoms, according to a study published in the January issue of JAMA: Internal Medicine.

Sudden cardiac death may be linked to waist-to-hip ratio

One more reason to tell patients to watch the waistline this holiday season: Research indicates that higher waist-to-hip ratio may result in increased risk for sudden cardiac death.

Technology & the future of pediatric cardiology

Miniaturization and 3D modeling help to provide new technologies to meet the needs of pediatric patients with congenital heart defects.

Results in mid-risk patients give next-gen TAVR valve a boost

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) likely stepped closer to use in intermediate-risk patients after a multicenter study found patients who underwent transfemoral TAVR with a next-generation valve had a 30-day mortality rate of 2.1 percent.

AHA.14: 3D models put hearts in physicians’ hands before surgery

Cardiac surgeons are learning the utility of 3D printed modeling. As shown Nov. 19 at the American Heart Association scientific session in Chicago, it allows physicians to hold and inspect a rendition of a patient’s heart prior to surgery to get a better understanding of internal anatomy with congenital defects.

ARB offers no benefit over beta-blockers for Marfan’s patients

For patients with Marfan’s syndrome, losartan may not be any better at reducing rates of aortic-root enlargement than beta-blockers. The results challenge prior studies that suggested losartan may have an advantage over beta-blocker therapy.

AHA.14: N.J.'s mandatory newborn pulse-ox screening shows success

Critical screening for newborns in New Jersey bears fruit: 13 more babies were identified with critical congenital heart defects than had been previously identified through prenatal screening or physical exam. Secondarily, babies with other kinds of congenital heart defects and serious medical conditions were identified solely through the mandatory pulse oximetry program.