Centre for Valvular Heart Disease (CVHD)

The Centre for Valvular Heart Disease (CVHD) provides a state-of-the-art evaluation of patients with heart valve disease. We welcome any symptomatic or asymptomatic patient with newly diagnosed or pre-existing heart valve disease for a second opinion, full evaluation, and care.

Heart valve diseases refer to a disease of one of the four cardiac valves. Each valve is composed of leaflets. Valve dysfunction could be the consequence of a thickening and limited opening of the leaflets leading to a valve stenosis, a lack of coaptation of the leaflets leading to valve leakage or regurgitation or a combination of both stenosis and regurgitation. The two most common valve diseases are mitral valve regurgitation and aortic valve stenosis.

Anatomy of the heart

Heart valve diseases are progressive diseases and remain silent often for years. Currently no medical therapy can stop or prevent disease progression. The only curative treatment is either a surgery or a transcatheter intervention.

During your visit at the Centre for Valvular Heart Disease, we will perform an echocardiogram to assess the status of your valve disease. If needed, we may also conduct other tests, such as a CT scan or an exercise test. We also perform blood tests at each visit. Ideally, we will accommodate all tests the same day. Once all tests are done and your results are available, a cardiologist with expertise in the evaluation and management of valvular heart diseases will see you to discuss the results of the tests and plan a follow-up appointment. If necessary, the cardiologist may refer you for an intervention. An intervention is usually performed when patients are symptomatic or when the heart function start to decline.

Research

Patients seen at the CVHD are offered to participate in our research program and may join the CVHD Research Registry, a database containing information about patients’ baseline characteristics and outcomes. Taking part in the registry is voluntary and will not affect your usual medical care. The registry aims to better understand the mechanisms and natural history of valvular heart diseases. The registry collects information about cardiovascular risk factors, your medical history, and medical treatments as well as events and management. In addition, we ask all CVHD patients to be part of the CVHD “biobank.” In addition to the blood work collected for clinical use, we collect additional samples for future heart valve disease research. All information and blood samples collected for research purposes are de-identified and therefore will not be traced back to the participant.

What to expect

If you have been referred to the Centre of Valvular Heart Disease, one of the clinic staff will contact you. If you are willing to help us and would like to participate in our research program, a clinical research coordinator will also contact you.

How to refer a patient

Please contact Nurse Coordinator Leah Rivers at 613-696-7403, by fax at 613-696-7127, or by email to cvhd@ottawaheart.ca.

Patient resources

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