New Guidelines Issued for Valvular Heart Disease in Adults

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(HealthDay News) — New recommendations have been issued for the diagnosis and management of valvular heart disease (VHD) in adults, according to the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology guidelines published online March 4 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Rick A. Nishimura, MD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and colleagues developed guidelines for the diagnosis and management of adult patients with VHD.

The authors note that progression of VHD can be classified into four stages: at-risk; progressive; asymptomatic severe; and symptomatic severe. The guideline discusses intervention for patients with severe VHD. The decision to intervene should be based on an individual risk-benefit analysis, weighing the risk of the procedure and immediate-term mortality with the benefits of the procedure and its long-term consequences. The possibility of deferring intervention for patients who will derive no benefit in terms of symptoms of improved life span should be considered. A Heart Valve Team, including a cardiologist and surgeon, and a multidisciplinary collaborative group of caregivers should manage patients with VHD. The team should optimize patient selection for appropriate procedures, including transcatheter aortic valve replacement or surgical aortic valve replacement. Recommendations are included for the timing and choice of new interventions.

"This VHD guideline was developed in a modular format that will allow the update or addition of individual recommendations based on the publication of new evidence," Catherine Otto, MD, co-chair of the writing committee, said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

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