SCAI's 'Therapies in Evolution' showcases exciting future of interventional cardiology

(May 10, 2007ORLANDO, FL)Interventional cardiology may be backed by 30 years of history, but this dynamic medical specialty is all about the future. At the 30th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), May 912, 2007, in Orlando, FL, a special symposium entitled Therapies in Evolution will highlight pioneering techniques that are propelling percutaneous, or catheter-based, interventions at amazing speed.

"These therapies are in their infancy," said Ted Feldman, M.D., FSCAI, director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at Evanston Hospital and a professor of medicine at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago. "There is more to learn about them month-to-month than in many other areas of medicine year-to-year."

Take, for example, aortic valve replacement, a procedure that ordinarily involves opening the chest and cutting into the heart or aortaa surgical procedure some patients are not healthy enough to withstand. Now, using percutaneous techniques, interventional cardiologists can thread a catheter into the narrowed aortic valve opening, inflate a balloon, and expand a stent that has been coupled to a biologic tissue valve. The stent pushes aside the diseased natural valve leaflets, and the new leaflets begin to function in their place.

"It's an exciting time," said John G. Webb, M.D., FSCAI, who has performed more than 100 percutaneous aortic valve replacements and is director of interventional cardiology at St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. "Techniques and devices are progressing rapidly. We've learned a great deal in a short period of time."

Equally impressive are advances in percutaneous repair of the mitral valve, which serves as the portal between the left atrium and the left ventricle. The mitral valve can become leaky as a result of either misshapen valve leaflets at birth or enlargement of the heart during heart f

Contact: Kathy Boyd David
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

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