Introduction: Surgical replacement for aortic stenosis is fraught with complications in high-risk patients. Transcatheter techniques may offer a minimally invasive solution, but their comparative effectiveness and safety is uncertain. We performed a network meta-analysis on this topic.
Methods: Randomized trials on transcatheter aortic valve replacement vs surgery were searched. The primary outcome was all cause death. Risk estimates were obtained with Bayesian network meta-analytic methods.
Results: Four trials with 1,805 patients were included. After a median of 8 months, risk of death and myocardial infarction was not different when comparing surgery versus transcatheter procedures, irrespective of device or access. Conversely, surgery was associated with higher rates of major bleeding (odds ratio vs CoreValve=3.03 [95% credible interval: 2.23-4.17]; odds ratio vs transfemoral Sapien =1.82 [1.21-2.70]; odds ratio vs transapical Sapien =2.08 [1.20-3.70]), and acute kidney injury (odds ratio vs CoreValve =2.08 [1.33-3.32]; odds ratio vs transapical Sapien =2.78 [2.21-99.80]), but lower rates of pacemaker implantation (odds ratio vs CoreValve =0.41 [0.28-0.59]), and moderate or severe aortic regurgitation (odds ratio vs CoreValve =0.06 [0.02-0.27]; odds ratio vs Sapien=0.17 [0.02-0.76]). Strokes were less frequent with CoreValve than with transfemoral Sapien (odds ratio =0.32 [0.13-0.73]) or transapical Sapien (odds ratio =0.33 [0.10-0.93]), whereas pacemaker implantation was more common with CoreValve (odds ratio vs surgery =2.46 [1.69-3.61]; odds ratio vs transfemoral Sapien =2.22 [1.27-3.85]).
Conclusions: Survival after transcatheter or surgical aortic valve replacement is similar, but there might be differences in the individual safety and effectiveness profile between the treatment strategies and the individual devices used in transcatheter aortic valve implantation.
Keywords: TAVI; TAVR; aortic stenosis; mixed treatment comparison; network meta-analysis; transcatheter aortic valve implantation; transcatheter aortic valve replacement.