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Low-risk patients benefit from the minimally invasive transcatellite aortic valve replacement

CHICAGO, March 17, 2019 / PRNewswire / – Patients suffering from severe aortic stenosis have ever had a unique treatment option – heart surgery to replace their diseased valve.

Results from a New England Journal of Medicine paper, released March 17 and co-author of S. Chris MalériMD, a cardiac surgeon at Northwestern Medicine and co-chairman of the Pattern 3 Review Panel, showed that patients who were at low risk for surgical complications nevertheless benefited from a minimally invasive, transcatellite aortic valve replacement (TAVR).

"The results of this study are ready to revolutionize the treatment protocol for low-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis, which leads to a shorter recovery time, lower complication rates, and sustained endurance of the replacement valve," said Dr. Maleris, who is an Associate Professor of Surgery (Cardiac Surgery) at Northwestern University Fineberg School of Medicine. "Surgeons and interventional cardiologists worked together Northwest to rigorously study this new procedure. We are excited to be part of what really is a game changer in the fight against cardiovascular disease. "

Northwest was one of the top 10 enrollment places for PARTNER 3 in the United States. The first patient with low risk TAVR in Illinois received the device at the Memorial Hospital in the Northwest as part of a trial in 2016.

Previously, TAVR was offered only to high-risk or medium-risk patients for an open heart surgery. The results are expected to extend TAVR as an option for patients at low risk of replacement of the surgical aortic valve, allowing them to take advantage of replacement of the valve without surgery.

In TAVR, cardiologists carry the new valve to the heart through a catheter or tube inserted into the patient's groin or a small incision under the patient's ribs. In a heartbeat laboratory, the new valve is operated in the affected valve. The procedure corrects severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis, which narrows the valve, reduces blood flow and causes the heart to work much harder. This can lead to death and symptoms of extreme fatigue, shortness of breath and chest pain. The results of previous clinical trials of patients with high and medium risk TAVR show positive results that are comparable with, or in some cases, better than open-hearted surgery.

Doctors at the Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases in Northwest Medicine have completed over 1,100 trans-replacement interchangeable valves.

Patients who participated in the low-risk TAVR trial of PARTNER 3 were randomly selected to receive the transcript valve or to replace the valve through an open heart surgery.

"At the Bloom Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases in Northwestern Medicine, we are at the forefront of the development of therapies with transcatheter valves that quickly become the preferred treatment for patients," said Charles Davidson, MD, a clinical cardiologist at the Northwest Memorial Hospital and a deputy chair for clinical work, a Department of Medicine in Feinberg. "The exciting results of PARTNER 3 change the landscape of treatment and recovery in patients with heart disease."

"Doctors from Northwestern medicine were among the first in the country to adopt TAVR, which is now considered one of the great discoveries in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases," said Patrick M. McCarthy, MD, executive director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and head of cardiosurgery at the Memorial Hospital in the Northwest. "As one of the best places to register for PARTNER 3 in the country, we are proud to be leaders in innovative treatment options with superior results and simpler returnees for our patients."

The results of PARTNER 3 were published in the New England Journal of Medicine and presented at a conference of the American College of Cardiology March 17, 2019.

The Medical Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases in Northwest Medicine is one of the top 10 national cardiology and heart surgery programs, according to US News and World Report, and ranked the top cardiovascular program in Chicago, Illinois and surrounding states for more than 10 consecutive years. For more information on top-ranked cardiovascular care in Northwestern medicine, go to or contact (312) NM-HEART.

To learn more about the clinical trials of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute, visit

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