The 1st transcatheter aortic valve was implanted 10 years ago, laying the foundation for a game-changing technology that has since matured "from an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan," according one researcher.
Heart valve enthusiasts gathered at the PCR London Valves conference this week, taking some time to wish a happy birthday to the "breakthrough technology" and share a laugh about the debate over whether the device is best referred to as transcatheter aortic valve implantation or transcatheter aortic valve replacement, TheHeart.org reported.
"TAVI should not be performed in patients at intermediate risk; trials are required for this," keynote speaker Dr. Martin Leon told attendees. He added that clinical trials examining use in patients at lower risk are underway, sharing his "sense" that the studies would prove successful, according to heartwire.
More than 50,000 patients in more than 500 centers around the world have been treated with TAVI and Germany still holds the lead, as German doctors have adopted transcatheter aortic valve implantation faster than any other country.
Although researchers have expressed concern that the rising rates of TAVI use may suggest a sort of "risk creep," where some physicians may be recommending the procedure to patients who aren’t within the recommended risk category, previous analyses have concluded that doctors are staying true to the guidelines.
Leon said he expects to see "dramatic continued growth of TAVI in the major indication of high-risk aortic stenosis," with the U.S. becoming the 43rd country with regulatory approval for the technology when Edwards Lifesciences (NYSE:EW) won the FDA’s OK for the Sapien TAVI system in November 2011.