This story highlighted a difference between the way mitral valve problems are commonly treated and the treatment recommended in the guidelines (American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association – though this guideline source was not actually mentioned in the article). It provided some insight for individuals who might be making a decision about treatment for this specific problem, but also for helping people in general think about questions they might want to get answers to for whatever ailment they are seeking relief for. Discussed within the story was the trade-off between convenience of treatment and the wisdom of seeking treatment in a high-volume center for people to weigh whenever they are contemplating invasive therapy.
There was no estimate for the cost for either mitral valve repair or replacement, though the story did raise the insurance coverage issue.
The story should have compared and quantified the benefits of mitral valve repair with mitral valve replacement.
The story mentioned that with mitral valve replacement there were medications that would need to be taken for the rest of the patient’s life, and that there was an expectation that the valve would need replacement again in 10 to 12 years.
While mentioning guideline recommendations for mitral valve surgical interventions, it would have been useful for readers to provide some detail about those guidelines. When discussing the guidelines "issued here in 2006", it would appear that the story was referring to those issued by the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association. It is helpful for readers to know the source of the recommendations so they can have a context for the value of that recommendation.
Though the story did not engage in disease mongering, it presented the sobering notion that thousands of individuals who undergo surgery for a leaky mitral valve are not receving the treatment.
One expert, who does not appear to be directly associated with the guidelines referred to in the article itself, was quoted in this piece.
The story was about two surgical treatments for dealing with mitral valve problems – repair and replacement. It offered information about the underutilization of mitral valve repair. It did not contain information about the natural history of mitral valve ‘problems’, and included nothing about the option of having neither treatment.
The story mentioned that only half of patients having surgery for leaky mitral valves have them repaired, which was deemed ‘unacceptable’ by the expert quoted. The story explained that this treatment was not readily available and that for many, it would require ‘distant referral’.
The story highlighted underutilization of mitral valve repair as opposed to mitral valve replacement..
Des not appear to rely on a press release