Features October 2007 Issue

Early Surgery Could Be a Lifesaver for Aortic Stenosis Patients

A recent Cleveland Clinic study could revolutionize the treatment of this potentially deadly disease.

Today, doctors often wait until symptoms appear to treat their aortic stenosis patients, but because the disease can come on without warning, many patients donít receive treatment until their hearts are already seriously damaged. "I think the general principle for years has been that surgical treatment of aortic stenosis is primarily for patients with symptoms," explains Gary Francis, MD, professor of medicine and head of Clinical Cardiology at Cleveland Clinic. "There really werenít any data available to guide therapy (for asymptomatic patients)."

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