The prevalence of valvular heart diseases (VHD) is rising in the U.S., with more than 5 million Americans diagnosed each year. While up to 1.5 million people suffer from aortic stenosis (AS) in the U.S., approximately 500,000 within this group of patients suffer from severe AS. Additionally, an estimated 4 million people have significant mitral valve insufficiency, with an annual incidence of 250,000 suffering from mitral regurgitation (MR) in the U.S.

The ACC launched the Succeed in Managing Heart Valve Disease (SIM-Valve) Initiative in an effort to improve care of valvular heart disease through appropriate diagnosis, referral and treatment. The purpose of this effort is to facilitate a greater understanding of diagnosis and treatment patterns, particularly with the introduction of new valve technologies. Components of the SIM-Valve Initiative include:

  • Evolving Valve Management Strategies Roundtables: These meetings bring together experts from a variety of medical specialties, organizations, industry, patient groups and other stakeholders. The goal is to draw on the collective experience and wisdom of participants to address the common challenges faced in identifying, managing and treating AS and MR.
  • Valvular Heart Disease Clinical Topic Collection: A page dedicated to VHD that features relevant news articles, case challenges, and clinical resources.
  • Clinical Tools: Practical tools developed to further aid clinicians in the decision making process for the assessment and management of AS and MR.
    • MR Health System Tool: Clinicians can use the tool to accurately identify and determine next steps in treatment for MR patients such as additional testing, periodic monitoring, or referral to the regional valve center.
    • Decision Guide for Managing Conduction Disturbances After TAVR: This checklist decision guide is intended to support clinicians in identifying patients who are at increased risk for developing a post-TAVR conduction disturbance, and monitor and manage patients who do develop a conduction disturbance.
  • Patient Resources: Educational materials and tools developed to increase patient engagement and improve the patient-clinician dialogue. These tools are available as a series of printable PDFs at
    • MR Patient Tool: Developed by clinicians and patient advisors to help patients understand what they need to do upon being diagnosed with MR.
    • AS Patient Tool: A series of tools created to help patients find ways to manage AS.

The SIM-Valve Initiative is supported by Founding Sponsors Abbott Vascular and Edwards Lifesciences.

Support for the Evolving Valve Management Strategies Roundtable was provided by Abbott Vascular, Edwards Lifesciences and Medtronic.