News | April 21, 2008

New HDL-Based Drug Treats Aortic Valve Narrowing

April 22, 2008 - A new type of medication based on raising high-density lipoproteins (HDL), can lead to an improvement in the aortic valve narrowing, reported study results published on-line in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

"The new type of drug used, based on HDL, led to the regression of the aortic valve stenosis in an experimental model," underlined Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, director of the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre and professor of medicine at the Montreal Heart Institute and the University of Montreal. "This new medical option could possibly provide us with an alternative to the cardiac surgery of aortic valve replacement."

The study by scientists from the Universite de Montreal and the Montreal Heart Institute Research Centre, led by Jean-Claude Tardif, M.D., was conducted on animals fed a diet rich in cholesterol until aortic valve stenosis was detected by echocardiography. The animals were then divided into two groups: a control group given injections of a neutral solution, and a group treated for two weeks with injections of a drug based on raising the good cholesterol (ApoA-I mimetic peptide).

After 14 days of treatment, the aortic valve opening in subjects had returned again to almost normal in the treated group, whereas it had improved by a mere 13 percent by eliminating the high-fat diet in the control group.

The thickness of the aortic valve decreased by 21 percent in the treated group, while remaining unchanged in the control group. Microscopic analysis revealed that valve lesions were significantly less extensive in the treatment group than in the control group. The treatment also reduced aortic valve calcifications.

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