The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) has released a set of clinical practice guidelines to address major advances in the evaluation and management of patients with aortic valve disease.
An executive summary of the clinical practice guidelines on aortic valve and ascending aorta procedures appears in the April issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. The full guidelines will be published as a supplement in an upcoming issue of the journal.
The Aortic Valve and Ascending Aorta Guideline Writing Committee included surgeons and cardiologists who expanded on previous guidelines and concentrated on surgical aspects, such as the evolving technology of percutaneous valves, to help increase the quality of care for patients undergoing aortic valve replacement (AVR) or thoracic aorta surgery.
"For cardiac surgeons and cardiologists, there have been few options and no guidelines on how to manage high-risk, previously inoperable patients," noted Lars G. Svensson, MD, from the Cleveland Clinic and Chair of the Guideline Task Force. "In creating these new guidelines, we wanted to outline the pros and cons of treatment options for repairing the aortic valve, replacing the valve, and using transcatheter approaches. We also wanted to outline areas where more research is needed and incorporate quality metrics."
The new aortic valve and ascending aorta clinical practice guidelines make recommendations in 26 areas, including mechanical aortic valves, biological valves, and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).
"The potential patient population needing AVR for severe aortic stenosis is estimated at 350,000 and rising," said Dr. Svensson. "Clearly, there are few, if any, medical procedures that are as effective as AVR in relieving symptoms, improving quality of life, and increasing long-term survival. Currently, based on the research for the guidelines, almost 92,000 patients annually undergo aortic valve replacements in the US."