Advances in percutaneous treatment for adult valvular heart disease
Valvular heart disease occurs in 2–3% of the general population with an increase in prevalence with advancing age. The aetiology of valvular heart disease has evolved in recent decades with degenerative aortic and mitral valve disease supplanting rheumatic heart disease as a primary cause. The common valve lesions to be discussed in this article are aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation. The traditional approach to calcific aortic stenosis when either symptoms or left ventricular impairment develops is surgical aortic valve replacement and it remains a treatment with excellent outcomes. In recent years there has been interest in less invasive approaches, including percutaneous and transapical aortic valve implantation. With refinements in technology these approaches are becoming a potential treatment option, primarily for high‐risk patients who may otherwise be unsuitable for traditional open surgical treatment. Catheter‐based approaches for mitral valve disease are also evolving. Mitral regurgitation may often be the result of mitral annular dilatation seen in patients with an enlarged left ventricle or left atrium. Percutaneous implantation of a constricting device in the coronary sinus, which lies in close proximity to the mitral annulus, results in a change to the geometry of the mitral valve and reduced regurgitation. Another technique in patients with degenerative mitral regurgitation is the endovascular edge‐to‐edge repair in which coaptation of the mitral valve leaflets can be improved with a percutaneously deployed clip. Small patient series indicate that these new techniques are promising. As such, advances in percutaneous interventional and surgical approaches have the potential to further improve outcomes for selected patients with valvular heart disease.
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