Clinical course of patients diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis in the Rotterdam area: insights from the AVARIJN study

Neth Heart J. 2012 Dec;20(12):487-93. doi: 10.1007/s12471-012-0309-3.


Objective: To prospectively evaluate the clinical course of patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) and identify factors associated with treatment selection and patient outcome.

Methods: Patients diagnosed with severe AS in the Rotterdam area were included between June 2006 and May 2009. Patient characteristics, echocardiogram, brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), and treatment strategy were assessed at baseline, and after 6, 12, and 24 months. Endpoints were aortic valve replacement (AVR) / transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and death.

Results: The study population comprised 191 patients, 132 were symptomatic and 59 asymptomatic at study entry. Two-year cumulative survival of symptomatic patients was 89.8 % (95 % CI 79.8-95.0 %) after AVR/TAVI and 72.6 % (95 % CI 59.7-82.0 %) with conservative treatment. Two-year cumulative survival of asymptomatic patients was 91.5 % (95 % CI 80.8-96.4 %). Two-year cumulative incidence of AVR/TAVI was 55.9 % (95 % CI 47.5-63.5 %) in symptomatic patients. Sixty-eight percent of asymptomatic patients developed symptoms, median time to symptoms was 13 months; AVR/TAVI cumulative incidence was 38.3 % (95 % CI 23.1-53.3 %). Elderly symptomatic patients with multiple comorbidities were more likely to receive conservative treatment.

Conclusions: In contemporary Dutch practice many symptomatic patients do not receive invasive treatment of severe AS. Two-thirds of asymptomatic patients develop symptoms within 2 years, illustrating the progressive nature of severe AS. Treatment optimisation may be achieved through careful individualised assessment in a multidisciplinary setting.