(p. A3) The Food and Drug Administration and leading cardiologists are warning that aortic heart valves from animal tissue–implanted surgically in thousands of patients world-wide–can develop tiny blood clots, causing the valves to function improperly.
The findings hit the field of cardiology as something of a shock, as these valves from pig and cow tissue have been used for three decades in patients with malfunctioning valves. In addition, the tissue valves have been regarded as less likely to produce blood clots than mechanical valves made of synthetic materials.
. . .
Cardiologist Eric Topol, chief academic officer at Scripps Health in San Diego, called it “remarkable” that such a finding could emerge after three decades of use of the animal-tissue valves. The idea that they lead to less clotting, he said, was “accepted dogma that wasn’t looked at.”
For the full story, see:
THOMAS M. BURTON. “Clot Risk Is Seen in Some Heart Valves.” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., Oct. 6, 2015): A3.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the article has the date Oct. 5, 2015, and has the title “Clot Risk Is Seen in Some Heart Valves.” Where there were minor differences between the print and online versions, the passages quoted above follow the online version.)
Eric Topol, quoted above, has written persuasively for more medical innovation, in his:
Topol, Eric. The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will Create Better Health Care. New York: Basic Books, 2012.