April 3, 2017 — The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) and the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EASCVI) have released a new joint document updating guidance for how best to use echocardiography to assess the growing number of patients with aortic stenosis (AS). The paper, Recommendations on the Echocardiographic Assessment of Aortic Valve Stenosis: A Focused Update from the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), will appear in the April issue of the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography (JASE).
Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve that is a common and serious heart valve problem. The incidence of aortic stenosis, which primarily affects people over 65 years of age, has increased in recent years especially as our population is living longer. Due to the wide variability in the severity of the disease and the need for treatment, echocardiography is the main tool physicians use to diagnose and evaluate AS.
ASE’s co-chair of the writing group, Judy W. Hung, M.D., FASE of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, commented, “The prior valve stenosis document was published in 2009; since that time there have been a considerable number of new studies published on aortic stenosis as well as technical improvements in ultrasound equipment. We felt that it was essential to integrate this new information into clinical practice, especially in light of the exponential growth of treatment options such as transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in the past several years. Importantly, this document provides a new classification scheme for aortic stenosis that focuses on gradient, stroke volume flow, and LVEF [left ventricular ejection fraction] in an integrated, stepwise algorithm.”
The document outlines in detail both basic and advanced echocardiographic measures of severity, incorporating key technical aspects and new research about how to evaluate the difficult subgroup of patients with low flow aortic stenosis. It synthesizes all these relevant details into a step-by-step approach that can help deal with the challenge of defining severe AS, including multiple tables and figures to illustrate various concepts.
In conjunction with the publication of the guideline document, Hung will conduct a live webinar, including a question and answer section, on June 13th at 4:00 pm ET. The webinar will be available for free to all ASE members and open to all other clinicians for just $25; registration for the webinar will open in mid-April. This webinar, and all ASE-hosted guideline webinars, are available on ASEUniversity.org to facilitate education for those who cannot attend the live webcast.
For more information: www.asecho.org/guidelines