New guidelines for managing patients with valvular heart disease stress the importance of early diagnosis and the use of valve repair instead of valve replacement.
The updated guidelines, released on June 16 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (http://www.acc.org/clinical/guidelines/valvular/index.pdf and http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3040213) reflect improved techniques, advancements in chronic valve disease management, and shifts in philosophy that have occurred since 1998, when the previous version of the guidelines was published.
Mitka M. Guidelines Seek to Standardize Care for Diseased Heart Valves. JAMA. 2006;296(6):637-638. doi:10.1001/jama.296.6.637