-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Heart patients who need a
new aortic valve are more likely to survive and have a better
quality of life if a valve from their own pulmonary artery is used,
instead of an aortic valve from a dead donor, new research has
The aortic valve connects the left ventricle of the heart with
the aorta, which is the body's main artery. The pulmonary valve
connects the heart to the pulmonary artery, which carries blood
from the heart to the lungs.
In this study, 108 patients had their malfunctioning aortic
valve replaced with their own pulmonary valve (autograft). Their
pulmonary valve was then replaced with a pulmonary valve from a
dead donor. Another 108 patients had their aortic valve replaced
with an aortic valve from a dead donor (homograft).
After 10 years, four patients in the autograft group and 15
patients in the homograft group had died. This means that patients
in the homograft group were more than four times more likely to
die, according to the report published online Aug. 3 in
In addition, the patients in the autograft group were less
likely to require further surgery and had better quality of life,
the study authors noted.
"Our results support the hypothesis that a living valve implanted in the aortic position can lead to significantly improved clinical outcomes in patients," Sir Magdi Yacoub, of the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London, and Imperial College London, and colleagues concluded.
The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has more about the
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