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Heart muscle weakness: Patients with a heart valve defect live much shorter


Heart valve failure reduces chances of survival in the event of cardiac muscle weakness

Chronic heart failure (heart muscle weakness) is an increasing challenge in Western society due to its frequency, mortality and hospital admission. It is more common than a heart attack and is associated with a much higher risk for those affected. A new study now shows the connection between a heart valve defect and the course of chronic heart failure.

Almost two million Germans suffer from heart failure

In Germany alone, almost two million people suffer from heart failure (heart failure). As a result of this disease, the heart is no longer able to provide the body with sufficient blood and oxygen. In recent years, new approaches to treating heart failure have been reported. For example, scientists at the Hannover Medical School (MHH) found that more iron could help some patients because it makes the heart more resilient. Another treatment option is the correction of existing heart valve weakness (mitral regurgitation). According to experts, it is still unclear which patients will benefit from such an intervention.

Correction of an existing heart valve weakness

Correcting existing heart valve weakness (mitral regurgitation) is a treatment concept in the context of heart failure.

However, despite numerous treatment options, it is still unclear which patients will benefit from such an intervention.

In a long-term observation study by Georg Goliasch from the Clinical Department of Cardiology at the MedUni Vienna / AKH Vienna, the influence of functional mitral regurgitation (heart valve defects) on the long-term prognosis of 576 patients with chronic systolic heart failure was examined.

The study results were published in the "European Heart Journal".

Strong negative impact on long-term survival

It was shown that the increasing prevalence (occurrence) of functional mitral insufficiency is directly related to the severity of heart failure, according to a statement.

The results also support the hypothesis that functional mitral regurgitation has a strong negative impact on the long-term survival of heart failure patients regardless of other clinical, echocardiographic, and neurohumoral factors.

Most important in this context is the realization that mitral regurgitation has an impact on survival, especially in those patients in whom heart failure is not yet very advanced.

Which patients could benefit from the therapy

This leads to the indication that there is a “window of opportunity” for a corresponding intervention, which should be used for an intervention.

This study underlines the increasing importance of functional mitral regurgitation in the development of chronic heart failure and provides for the first time indications of which patients could potentially benefit from interventional therapy of functional mitral regurgitation.

The fact that there is “too early” and “too late” for an intervention could not previously be shown in this clarity and takes a step further towards precision medicine. (ad)

Author and source information


Video: MitraClip: Minimally Invasive Mitral Valve Repair (August 2020).