Aims: Treatment of elderly symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis and co-morbidities is challenging. Transcatheter aortic valve interventions [balloon valvuloplasty and transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)] are evolving as alternative treatment options to surgical valve replacement. We report the first results of the prospective multi-centre German Transcatheter Aortic Valve Interventions-Registry.
Methods and results: Between January 2009 and December 2009, a total of 697 patients (81.4 ± 6.3 years, 44.2% males, and logistic EuroScore 20.5 ± 13.2%) underwent TAVI. Pre-operative aortic valve area was 0.6 ± 0.2 cm² with a mean transvalvular gradient of 48.7 ± 17.2 mmHg. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation was performed percutaneously in the majority of patients [666 (95.6%)]. Only 31 (4.4%) procedures were done surgically: 26 (3.7%) transapically and 5 (0.7%) transaortically. The Medtronic CoreValve™ prosthesis was used in 84.4%, whereas the Sapien Edwards™ prosthesis was used in the remaining cases. Technical success was achieved in 98.4% with a post-operative mean transaortic pressure gradient of 5.4 ± 6.2 mmHg. Any residual aortic regurgitation was observed in 72.4% of patients, with a significant aortic insufficiency (≥Grade III) in only 16 patients (2.3%). Complications included pericardial tamponade in 1.8% and stroke in 2.8% of patients. Permanent pacemaker implantation after TAVI became necessary in 39.3% of patients. In-hospital death rate was 8.2%, and the 30-day death rate 12.4%.
Conclusion: In this real-world registry of high-risk patients with aortic stenosis, TAVI had a high success rate and was associated with moderate in-hospital complications. However, careful patient selection and continued hospital selection seem crucial to maintain these results.