Background: Severe aortic stenosis (AS) is a surgically correctable condition. However, aortic valve replacement (AVR) is not offered to many patients with severe AS for various reasons. We investigated the profile and survival patterns of patients with severe AS who did not have AVR.
Methods: Our echocardiographic database was screened for patients with severe AS, defined as a Doppler estimated aortic valve area of 0.8 cm2 or less between 1993 and 2003. Seven hundred and forty patients with severe AS were identified, of whom 453 patients had no AVR through the follow-up period, forming the study cohort. These patients were comprehensively characterized by obtaining clinical, pharmacologic, and surgical data through a comprehensive chart review and extracting survival data from the National Death Index.
Results: Patient characteristics were as follows: age 75 +/- 13 years, 48% male, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction 52 +/- 21%, coronary artery disease in 34%, hypertension in 35%, serum creatinine level greater than 2 mg/dL in 11%, and diabetes mellitus in 14%. The survival at 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years was 62%, 32%, and 18%, respectively. The univariate predictors of reduced survival were advanced age, low LV ejection fraction, heart failure, elevated serum creatinine level, severe mitral regurgitation, and pulmonary hypertension; and the independent predictors were advanced age, low LV ejection fraction, heart failure, elevated serum creatinine level, and systemic hypertension. Concomitant pharmacotherapy had no impact on survival.
Conclusions: Conservatively treated patients with severe AS have a grave prognosis, and it is worse in the presence of advanced age, LV dysfunction, heart failure, and renal failure.