Imaging in Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): role of the radiologist

Insights Imaging. 2014 Feb;5(1):123-45. doi: 10.1007/s13244-013-0301-5. Epub 2014 Jan 21.


Background: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a novel technique developed in the last decade to treat severe aortic stenosis in patients who are non-surgical candidates because of multiple comorbidities.

Methods: Since the technique is performed using a transvascular approach, pre-procedural assessment of the aortic valve apparatus, ascending aorta and vascular access is of paramount importance for both appropriate patient selection and correct device selection. This assessment is performed by a multi-disciplinary team with radiology being an integral and important part.

Results: Among imaging modalities, there is growing scientific evidence supporting the crucial role of MDCT in the assessment of the aortic valve apparatus, suitability of the iliofemoral or alternative pathway, and determination of appropriate coaxial angles. MDCT also plays an important role in post-procedure imaging in the assessment of valve integrity and position.

Conclusion: This review outlines the principal aspects of TAVR, the multidisciplinary approach and utilisation of different imaging modalities, as well as a step-by-step approach to MDCT acquisition protocols, reconstruction techniques, pre-procedure measurements and post-procedure assessment.

Teaching points: • TAVR is a new technique to treat severe aortic stenosis in high-risk and nonsurgical candidates. • MDCT assessment of the aortic annulus is important for appropriate patient and device selection. • Multidisciplinary approach is required for patient selection, procedure planning and performance. • MDCT is required for assessment of the aortic root, iliofemoral or alternative vascular pathway.