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This Issue: Ensuring High-Quality Care | Table of Contents: Fall 2016 | Download this issue

In the News

Study of aortic valve disease begins

A new study of aortic valve disease, aimed at developing new treatments for the condition, has begun at the Providence VA Medical Center.

The Providence Journal reported on the new study in its Sept. 26 edition, and quoted Dr. Alan Morrison, a researcher at the facility and a professor at Brown University's Warren Alpert Medical School, as saying that earlier research identifying inflammatory signals associated with calcification of heart plaque paved the way for the new study.

"It turns out," Morrison said, "that as we inhibited the calcification of plaques, we also slowed aortic valve thickening and hardening. We hope to apply what we've learned to develop effective treatments for aortic stenosis."

Aortic valve disease is a condition in which the valve between the main pumping chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) and the main artery to the body (the aorta) doesn't work properly. It may be a condition present at birth, or may result from other causes. Aortic stenosis is a narrowing of the aortic valve, restricting blood flow through the valve.

The Journal also quoted Dr. Susan MacKenzie, the medical center's director, as saying that "this is an exciting example of the kind of research we are doing here. Research like this may not only help us provide the exceptional care Veterans have earned, but could benefit the general population as well."

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