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Tissue May Beat Metal for AVR in Middle-Aged Patients

Bioprosthetic valves less likely to cause blood clots, but are less durable

heart model

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Middle-aged aortic valve replacement patients may have better outcomes if they receive bioprosthetic valves rather than mechanical, according to research published online Jan. 12 in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

The investigators analyzed 13 studies that compared bioprosthetic and mechanical valves in patients aged 40 to 70 who had aortic valve replacement.

Fifteen years after receiving new aortic valves, there were no differences in rates of survival, stroke, or endocarditis between the two groups, the researchers found. However, patients with bioprosthetic valves were twice as likely to undergo another operation to replace worn-out valves, while those with mechanical valves were twice as likely to experience thromboembolic events and major bleeding events.

"We combined the best available evidence comparing mechanical valves versus bioprosthetic valves to determine the risks and benefits to patients following surgery, depending on the type of valve they received," researcher James Wu, from the University of Sydney, said in a news release from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. "We hope that our results can give future patients needing aortic valve replacement more information to help them choose the appropriate replacement valve for their condition."

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