Public Affairs & Media Relations
New heart valve therapy alternative to open heart surgery
Contact: Heather Woolwine
July 23, 2014
CHARLESTON –The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is the first hospital in South Carolina to adopt a new, minimally invasive system to treat patients with narrowed, failing aortic heart valves who are considered to be at high risk.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Medtronic CoreValve® System to treat patients with severe aortic stenosis based on research showing the transcatheter heart valve had superior survival rates at one year when compared to open-heart surgery, the current gold standard for aortic valve replacement. The CoreValve System also demonstrated low rates of procedural complications, including stroke, one of the most concerning complications of valve replacement because it can affect survival and quality of life.
“MUSC has been performing transcatheter aortic valve replacements since March 2012—longer than any other hospital in the state,” said John Ikonomidis, M.D., cardiothoracic surgeon and director of the South Carolina Heart Valve Center at MUSC. “The new CoreValve System gives us one more option for our patients, so we have more ways to treat patients with heart valve disease. Our focus is to continue to be a leader with access to the newest clinical treatment options and revolutionary clinical trials.”
Aortic stenosis is a common heart problem caused by a narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve due to excessive calcium deposited on the valve leaflets. When the valve narrows, it does not open or close properly, making the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body. Eventually, this causes the heart to weaken and function poorly, which may lead to heart failure and increased risk for sudden cardiac death.
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) replaces a diseased aortic heart valve through a minimally invasive procedure, without open-heart surgery and without surgical removal ofthe diseased valve. The device is typically inserted via an artery in the leg or upper chest, and then guided through the arteries into the heart. Once in place, the prosthetic valve expands and takes over the original valve’s function to enable oxygen-rich blood to flow efficiently out of the heart.
The advanced design of the CoreValve System is suitable for patients with native valves of nearly all sizes, and it is delivered through the smallest available delivery system, making it possible to treat patients with vascular systems that are small or difficult to navigate. Additionally, the valve’s self-expanding frame enables physicians to deliver the device in a controlled manner, allowing for accurate placement.
For more information about MUSC’s Heart Valve Center, visit MUSChealth.org/valve.
Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.7 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (one of 66 National Cancer Institute designated centers) Level I Trauma Center and Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit www.muschealth.com.