By Jonathan Springston, Editor, Relias Media

The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) recommend considering less invasive treatment options for patients with heart valve disease, according to new guidelines.

Heart valve disease, such as stenosis and regurgitation, if left untreated, can cause heart failure or death. Once, the only solution was invasive surgery to fix the problem. Today, thanks to advancing technology, stenosis can be addressed through catheters, and leaky valves can be repaired with safer techniques. Thus, the AHA/ACC recommends a specialized committee weigh all the alternatives to help these patients before turning to major surgery.

“Clinical studies have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of new, less-invasive approaches for treatment of heart valve dysfunction. Integration of this expanded evidence base, in conjunction with expert clinical experience, will furnish both providers and patients with the guidance needed to ensure optimal outcomes for patients with heart valve conditions,” Catherine Otto, MD, FACC, FAHA, co-chair of the guideline writing committee, said in a statement.

This new guideline replaces a 2014 recommendation and a 2017 focused update. For more on this and related subjects, be sure to read the latest issues of Clinical Cardiology Alert.