Background: Low mean transvalvular gradient (<40 mm Hg) and small aortic valve area (<1.0 cm(2)) in patients with aortic stenosis (AS) and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction raises uncertainty about the actual severity of the stenosis and survival benefit of aortic valve replacement (AVR).
Objectives: This study analyzed studies of mortality and survival impact of AVR in patients with low-gradient (LG) AS and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction, including paradoxical low-flow (i.e., stroke volume index <35 ml/m(2)), low-gradient (LF-LG) and normal-flow, low-gradient (NF-LG), and those with high-gradient (≥ 40 mm Hg) AS or moderate AS.
Methods: Studies published between 2005 and 2015 were analyzed. Primary outcome was the survival benefit associated with AVR. Secondary outcome was overall mortality regardless of treatment.
Results: Eighteen studies were included in the analysis. Patients with LF-LG AS have increased mortality compared with patients with moderate AS (hazard ratio [HR]: 1.68; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31 to 2.17), NF-LG (HR: 1.80; 95% CI: 1.29 to 2.51), and high-gradient (HR: 1.67; 95% CI: 1.16 to 2.39) AS. AVR was associated with reduced mortality in patients with LF-LG (HR: 0.44; 95% CI: 0.25 to 0.77). Similar benefit occurred with AVR in patients with NF-LG (HR: 0.48; 95% CI: 0.28 to 0.83). Compared with patients with high-gradient AS, those with LF-LG were less likely to be referred to AVR (odds ratio: 0.32; 95% CI: 0.21 to 0.49).
Conclusions: Patients with paradoxical LF-LG AS and NF-LG AS have increased risk of mortality compared with other subtypes of AS with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction, and improved outcome with AVR.
Keywords: aortic valve replacement; low gradient aortic stenosis; paradoxical flow aortic stenosis.
Copyright © 2015 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.