Aims: To identify the characteristics, treatment, and outcomes of contemporary patients with valvular heart disease (VHD) in Europe, and to examine adherence to guidelines.
Methods and results: The Euro Heart Survey on VHD was conducted from April to July 2001 in 92 centres from 25 countries; it included prospectively 5001 adults with moderate to severe native VHD, infective endocarditis, or previous valve intervention. VHD was native in 71.9% of patients and 28.1% had had a previous intervention. Mean age was 64+/-14 years. Degenerative aetiologies were the most frequent in aortic VHD and mitral regurgitation while most cases of mitral stenosis were of rheumatic origin. Coronary angiography was used in 85.2% of patients before intervention. Of the 1269 patients who underwent intervention, prosthetic replacement was performed in 99.0% of aortic VHD, percutaneous dilatation in 33.9% of mitral stenosis, and valve repair in 46.5% of mitral regurgitation; 31.7% of patients had > or =1 associated procedure. Of patients with severe, symptomatic, single VHD, 31.8% did not undergo intervention, most frequently because of comorbidities. In asymptomatic patients, accordance with guidelines ranged between 66.0 and 78.5%. Operative mortality was <5% for single VHD.
Conclusions: This survey provides unique contemporary data on characteristics and management of patients with VHD. Adherence to guidelines is globally satisfying as regards investigations and interventions.