Timing of heart surgery is crucial
Valve replacement heart surgery should be performed earlier than conventionally thought for people with aortic stenosis. The condition is one of the most common and serious valve disease problems, caused by a narrowing of the aortic valve opening.

The heart has four valves, which allow the blood to flow in one direction efficiently. With increasing age, one of the valves, the aortic valve, becomes increasingly narrowed or 'stenosed'. Once patients develop symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pains or blackouts then guidelines recommend replacing the narrowed valve. But many patients with aortic stenosis do not have symptoms even when they have severe narrowing of the valve and are thus not eligible for valve replacement.

The research team carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis, comparing early intervention versus conservative management in patients with asymptomatic severe aortic stenosis. They then analyzed data from all the available studies which involved a total of 3798 patients, out of which 302 were included in the two largest randomized controlled trials and 3496 in the observational studies. They found that early intervention, before patients have symptoms, is associated with lower risk of death and hospitalization for heart failure. By the time the patients develop symptoms, there has likely been irreversible damage to the muscle of the heart. This in turn may preclude a worse prognosis and adverse outcomes even after successful intervention. The timing of aortic valve intervention is crucial.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2022/05/220517210414.htm
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