Healthcare Industry News:  Edwards Lifesciences 

Devices Cardiology

 News Release - June 16, 2006

Edwards Lifesciences Supports New Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Heart Valve Disease

New Criteria Includes Broader Application of Tissue Valves

IRVINE, Calif., June 16 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Edwards Lifesciences Corporation (NYSE: EW ), the world leader in heart valve technologies, announced today its support of new guidelines for the treatment of valvular heart disease issued jointly by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (ACC/AHA). Under the new guidelines, more emphasis is put on patient preference than strict age requirements for the choice of a tissue valve over a mechanical valve. Additionally, the recommended age for tissue valve replacement in the mitral position has been lowered from 70 to 65. These modifications reflect continuous improvements in tissue valve performance and cardiac surgery outcomes in general, as well as consideration of patient lifestyle decisions.

The revisions, which were presented today at the ACC's Heart Valve Summit in Chicago and will be co-published in the August 1, 2006 issue of The Journal of American College of Cardiology as well as Circulation, mark the first comprehensive update to the practice guidelines since 1998.

"Fundamentally, the new guidelines open up the use of tissue valves to patients of all ages, assuming careful discussion of benefits with their doctor," said Anita B. Bessler, Edwards' corporate vice president of Global Franchise Management. "Also, we are very pleased to see that the new guidelines acknowledge the advancements in tissue valve design technology, especially the long-term hemodynamic benefits of stented pericardial tissue valves in the aortic position."

Each year, more than 300,000 people worldwide undergo open-heart surgery to treat their malfunctioning or diseased heart valves. These are primarily patients that exhibit clear symptoms of valve disease. However, the new ACC/AHA guidelines also suggest more aggressive treatment of certain patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis.

Additionally, the new guidelines recognize the superior hemodynamic performance of stented bovine pericardial valves compared to porcine valves for aortic valve replacement. "The Magna aortic valve, the latest generation of PERIMOUNT pericardial bioprostheses, was introduced two years ago in the U.S. and is now the best selling tissue valve in the world," said Bessler.

The new ACC/AHA guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease are available online at the American College of Cardiology website (www.acc.org) as well as the American Heart Association website (www.americanheart.org).

About Edwards Lifesciences

Edwards Lifesciences, a leader in advanced cardiovascular disease treatments, is the number-one heart valve company in the world and the global leader in acute hemodynamic monitoring. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Edwards focuses on specific cardiovascular opportunities including heart valve disease, peripheral vascular disease and critical care technologies. The company's global brands, which are sold in approximately 100 countries, include Carpentier-Edwards, Cosgrove-Edwards, FloTrac, Fogarty, LifeStent, PERIMOUNT and Swan-Ganz. Additional company information can be found at http://www.edwards.com.

Edwards Lifesciences, Edwards, FloTrac, Magna and ThermaFix are trademarks of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation. Edwards Lifesciences, Carpentier-Edwards, Cosgrove-Edwards, Fogarty, LifeStent, PERIMOUNT, PERIMOUNT Magna and Swan-Ganz are trademarks of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation and are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. LifeStent is a trademark of Edwards Lifesciences AG.

This news release includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties detailed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by management of the company and are believed to be reasonable, though are inherently uncertain and difficult to predict. Actual results or experience could differ materially from the forward-looking statements.


Source: Edwards Lifesciences

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Please address inquiries directly to the issuing company.



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