A team of scientists from the Université de Montréal and the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre, led by Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, has completed an important study that show how a new type of medication can lead to an improvement in the aortic valve narrowing.
This type of treatment based on raising high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the so-called good cholesterol level in patients suffering from aortic valve stenosis, could potentially transform the treatment approach of this disease, notably by avoiding open heart surgery. Study results have been published on-line in the British Journal of Pharmacology.
Renewed hope for patients
“We are delighted to see that the new type of drug used, based on HDL, led to the regression of the aortic valve stenosis in an experimental model,” underlined Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, director of the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre and professor of medicine at the Montreal Heart Institute and the Université de Montréal.
“This important discovery warrants further clinical studies on patients suffering from this frequent disease. This new medical option could possibly provide us with an alternative to the cardiac surgery of aortic valve replacement.”
What is aortic valve stenosis?
Aortic valve stenosis is the most common form of heart valve disease in Western countries. In Canada, it could affect some 150,000 persons. The disease is characterized by a narrowing of the aortic valve opening, causing a difference in blood pressure between the heart and the rest of the body, which is particularly dangerous for the patient.
The main symptoms of severe aortic valve stenosis are exercise intolerance, angina and syncope (fainting). Its frequency in the population aged over 65 is two percent to four percent. Its major complications are, in addition to the need for cardiac surgery, heart failure and sudden death. The disease therefore represents a major health problem with dramatic consequences if replacement surgery is not performed in time. In the United States, about 50,000 patients a year must undergo aortic valve replacement surgery.
Details on the study
The study was conducted on animals fed a diet rich in cholesterol until aortic valve stenosis was detected by echocardiography, the medical imaging ultrasound system used for humans. The animals were then divided into two groups: a control group given injections of a neutral solution, and a group treated for two weeks with injections of a drug based on raising the “good cholesterol” (ApoA-I mimetic peptide).
The findings were particularly interesting, since after only 14 days of treatment, the aortic valve opening in subjects had returned again to almost normal in the treated group, whereas it had improved by a mere 13 percent by eliminating the high-fat diet in the control group.
What’s more, the thickness of the aortic valve decreased by 21 percent in the treated group, while remaining unchanged in the control group.Microscopic analysis revealed that valve lesions were significantly less extensive in the treatment group than in the control group. The treatment also reduced aortic valve calcifications.
Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School
Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences