Exceptional TAVR outcomes: Every beat counts

doctor in cath lab

McLaren Macomb, through its Mat Gaberty Heart Center, has reported exceptional clinical outcomes for patients who have undergone a transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure originally introduced to replace the heart’s aortic valve in patients deemed a high- or intermediate-risk for heart surgery.

Performed in the cardiac catheterization lab, patients living with severe aortic stenosis receive a TAVR to replace the malfunctioning aortic valve with an organic valve supported by a metallic stent.

McLaren Macomb cardiologists launched the TAVR program in the spring of 2018, and in the months since, quality of life indicator data supports enhanced clinical outcomes for those patients who have undergone the procedure to replace the critical heart valve.

Patients who received TAVR reported an average quality of life increase of 56.25 when returning the Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ). The industry standard, the KCCQ is a measurement in which patients self-report the impact their heart disease symptoms are having on their quality of life, generating a score on a scale of 0 to 100.

Following treatment, patients complete the same questionnaire (at 30 days and again at one year from the date of treatment) in order to measure the overall effectiveness of the treatment.

“What our data demonstrates is that the program is working as it’s intended to,” said Dr. Timothy Logan, interventional cardiologist and chief of cardiology at McLaren Macomb. “Patients who were suffering the symptoms of aortic stenosis are returning home feeling much better with a greater quality of life.”

What is aortic stenosis?

A very common condition, aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve, keeping it from fully opening, reducing the amount of blood pumped through the heart.

Forced to work harder, the heart is weakened, causing a variety of symptoms.

Symptoms of aortic stenosis:

  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain/tightness
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Heart palpitations, or a noticeable heartbeat
  • Unable to perform activities requiring mild exertion

McLaren Macomb TAVR program

The announcement of these quality statistics coincides with the McLaren Macomb TAVR team’s expansion of the program to include additional patient populations.

Dr. Logan and the team are now capable of performing an alternative access approach to the procedure – accessing the malfunctioning heart valve via the carotid artery in the neck to accommodate patients who, for any reason, might not be able to tolerate access from the femoral artery in the groin.

Additionally, the team has broadened the TAVR inclusion criteria to include the procedure as a primary treatment option for patients who are at low-risk for heart surgery, a move approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) following clinical trials.

“While TAVR was originally introduced as an option for patients deemed too high-risk for surgery, we now have clinical data to support that this treatment is effective in low-risk patients as well,” Dr. Logan said. “As a result, we are excited to offer TAVR as the primary treatment option for more patients at McLaren Macomb.”

Want to learn more about TAVR?

Attend a free seminar hosted by McLaren Macomb cardiology experts on aortic stenosis and TAVR.

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