Background: Patients with severe aortic stenosis and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) have a poor prognosis with conservative therapy but a high operative mortality when treated surgically. Recently, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has emerged as an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) for patients considered at high or prohibitive operative risk. The objective of this study was to compare TAVI and SAVR with respect to postoperative recovery of LVEF in patients with severe aortic stenosis and reduced LV systolic function.
Methods and results: Echocardiographic data were prospectively collected before and after the procedure in 200 patients undergoing SAVR and 83 patients undergoing TAVI for severe aortic stenosis (aortic valve area ≤1 cm(2)) with reduced LV systolic function (LVEF ≤50%). TAVI patients were significantly older (81±8 versus 70±10 years; P<0.0001) and had more comorbidities compared with SAVR patients. Despite similar baseline LVEF (34±11% versus 34±10%), TAVI patients had better recovery of LVEF compared with SAVR patients (ΔLVEF, 14±15% versus 7±11%; P=0.005). At the 1-year follow-up, 58% of TAVI patients had a normalization of LVEF (>50%) as opposed to 20% in the SAVR group. On multivariable analysis, female gender (P=0.004), lower LVEF at baseline (P=0.005), absence of atrial fibrillation (P=0.01), TAVI (P=0.007), and larger increase in aortic valve area after the procedure (P=0.01) were independently associated with better recovery of LVEF.
Conclusion: In patients with severe aortic stenosis and depressed LV systolic function, TAVI is associated with better LVEF recovery compared with SAVR. TAVI may provide an interesting alternative to SAVR in patients with depressed LV systolic function considered at high surgical risk.