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.