The American Heart Association (AHA) has updated its recommendations for heart valve patients.
Recommendations include less invasive options such as abnormal valve replacement via
catheter-based procedures, particularly for high-risk patients, AHA said in a news release. Updated guidelines also spell out the
need for patients to take antibiotics before dental work, and the age range
for selecting tissue valve replacement was lowered from 60 to 70 years old to 50
to 70 years old, making younger patients eligible for the procedure.
Other guidelines include allowing some patients with
fibrillation and heart valve disease to use newer oral anticoagulant
The new guidelines have been published in
the AHA journal Circulation and the Journal of
the American College of Cardiology. They follow
the most recent scientific research available since the last guidelines were
released in 2014.
have been significant developments in the treatment of patients with valve
disease using open heart surgery to repair rather than replace leaky valves,” Dr. Rick
Nishimura, a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic and the writing committee
co-chair of the new guidelines, said in the release. “For
example, we are now able to replace abnormal valves using a catheter-based
approach, so that patients at higher risk of surgery can be treated less
AHA's updated heart valve guidelines highlight lower-risk procedures
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