Transcatheter heart valve failure: a systematic review

Eur Heart J. 2015 Jun 1;36(21):1306-27. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehu388. Epub 2014 Sep 28.


Aims: A comprehensive description of transcatheter heart valve (THV) failure has not been performed. We undertook a systematic review to investigate the aetiology, diagnosis, management, and outcomes of THV failure.

Methods and results: The systematic review was performed in accordance with the PRISMA guidelines using EMBASE, MEDLINE, and Scopus. Between December 2002 and March 2014, 70 publications reported 87 individual cases of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) failure. Similar to surgical bioprosthetic heart valve failure, we observed cases of prosthetic valve endocarditis (PVE) (n = 34), structural valve failure (n = 13), and THV thrombosis (n = 15). The microbiological profile of THV PVE was similar to surgical PVE, though one-quarter had satellite mitral valve endocarditis, and surgical intervention was required in 40% (75% survival). Structural valve failure occurred most frequently due to leaflet calcification and was predominantly treated by redo-THV (60%). Transcatheter heart valve thrombosis occurred at a mean 9 ± 7 months post-implantation and was successfully treated by prolonged anticoagulation in three-quarters of cases. Two novel causes of THV failure were identified: late THV embolization (n = 18); and THV compression (n = 7) following cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). These failure modes have not been reported in the surgical literature. Potential risk factors for late THV embolization include low prosthesis implantation, THV undersizing/underexpansion, bicuspid, and non-calcified anatomy. Transcatheter heart valve embolization mandated surgery in 80% of patients. Transcatheter heart valve compression was noted at post-mortem in most cases.

Conclusion: Transcatheter heart valves are susceptible to failure modes typical to those of surgical bioprostheses and unique to their specific design. Transcatheter heart valve compression and late embolization represent complications previously unreported in the surgical literature.

Keywords: Aortic stenosis; Heart valve failure; Prosthetic valve endocarditis; Transcatheter aortic valve implantation; Transcatheter heart valve failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Embolism / etiology
  • Endocarditis / drug therapy
  • Endocarditis / etiology
  • Endocarditis / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular / etiology
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / diagnosis
  • Gram-Positive Bacterial Infections / drug therapy
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Histoplasmosis / diagnosis
  • Histoplasmosis / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Failure / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement*


  • Anti-Infective Agents