Thursday, 30 December 2010

ASYMPTOMATIC AORTIC VALVE STENOSIS

Management of asymptomatic aortic stenosis -- Iung 97 (3): 253 -- Heart An excellent piece by Bernard Lung. The fact that the traditional practice of waiting for symptoms to occur before referring for surgery was devised in the pre-echocardiography era is worth repeating over and over. If a patient has severe calcific aortic valve stenosis, they should be referred for surgery- period! It is regrettable
 that as surgeons we still occasionally get referred patients with terminal heart failure due to aortic valve stenosis. There is also an invariable history of these patients (most of whom have obvious murmurs ) being treated for weeks and months for ' respiratory ' disorders. A significant educational campaign aimed at increasing awareness of aortic valve stenosis and its increasing incidence in the elderly population amongst primary care practitioners is needed.
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