Possible non-surgical heart valve treatment

September 22, 2010 2:51:01 PM PDT
There is a possible new alternative in the works for the thousands of Americans who need new heart valves but are too frail to survive surgery.

It will be an easier option that involves threading in an artificial aortic valve without cracking the chest.

The aortic valve is the heart's main doorway and a major new study found that snaking a new one in through an artery significantly improved the chances that patients with no other treatment options would survive at least a year.

It is still not known whether easier-to-plant valves might work for the less sick who would like to try the new technology rather than open heart surgery.


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