Center for Heart Valve Disease

A Research Department at THI

Over the last several years, a rising incidence of valvular heart disease (VHD) has spurred increased interest in discovering new, more effective ways to treat this type of cardiovascular disease that many worry often goes undiagnosed. The disease can afflict people at any age and is sometimes congenital, though its most often seen as an affliction of the elderly. As the world’s population ages, the prevalence and costs of treating those impacted by VHD will rise significantly, making the work of Texas Heart Institute’s Center for Heart Valve Disease more and more critical.

VHD is a group of mechanical diseases that impose an overload on the heart which eventually cause heart failure. These mechanical problems currently have only mechanical solutions – correction through valve repair or replacement. Under the direction of R. David Fish, MD, researchers in the Center for Heart Valve Disease focus on all aspects of VHD, including improved replacement procedures with less invasive technology and the potential of adult stem cell therapies.

Dr. Fish’s team seeks to not only improve surgical and percutaneous (through the skin without surgery) interventions available today, but to also increase our understanding of exactly what causes the mechanical issues to overload the heart to the point of failure. This knowledge could lead to new therapeutic targets that will enable physicians to better time interventions before the adverse affects of the disease create additional conditions in patients.

Thanks to the team’s unique expertise and work so far to innovate treatments of VHD, Texas Heart Institute is strategically positioned to become one of, and perhaps the most prominent center for the treatment of VHD in the country.