Dr. Steve Lentz and Dr. Firas Zahr shared a byline recently in an editorial published by the New England Journal of Medicine. Drs. Lentz and Zahr responded to a study published in NEJM, which found that by performing a simple test for the presence of a blood-clotting protein, paravalvular leaks can be readily identified and repaired immediately after a trans-aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure, before further complications can result. Drs. Lentz and Zahr praise the strong indicative results in the study, as well as the fact that the authors confirmed their findings in a second, validation cohort.
They also cite the value that this test can provide patients receiving a TAVR, but call for more research both with a larger population, as well as the need to find other rapid, point-of-care tests for this protein. They also call for studies that could provide confirmation that the paravalvular leaks are indeed responsible for some of the serious complications that can result from TAVRs. Congratulations to Dr. Lentz and Dr. Zahr on the opportunity to publicly comment on an exciting discovery.
[…] Some more national attention was brought to the department when Dr. Steve Lentz and Dr. Firas Zahr were asked to write an editorial for the New England Journal of Medicine. The two were responding to a recent discovery of a test that could be performed in the operating room to indicate the presence a particular protein associated with blood clots. This test could alert surgeons immediately that a paravalvular leak was present during or just after a transaortic valve replacement. Identifying that leak sooner could prevent complications, not least of which would be the need for an additional surgery. Drs. Lentz and Zahr commented on the value of this protein test and the reliability of the recently published findings. They went on to explain that although these promising results will be of immediate benefit, more research would be necessary. This editorial speaks to the reputation of our colleagues and highlights the depth of expertise and influence within our department when major journals turn to us for editorial expertise. Congratulations to Drs. Lentz and Zahr. […]