Background: Since the adoption of transcatheter aortic-valve replacement (TAVR), questions have been raised about its effect on clinical practice in comparison with the effect of surgical aortic-valve replacement, which is considered the current standard of care. Complete nationwide data are useful in examining how the introduction of a new technique influences previous clinical standards.
Methods: We analyzed data on characteristics of patients and in-hospital outcomes for all isolated TAVR and surgical aortic-valve replacement procedures performed in Germany from 2007 to 2013.
Results: In total, 32,581 TAVR and 55,992 surgical aortic-valve replacement procedures were performed. The number of TAVR procedures increased from 144 in 2007 to 9147 in 2013, whereas the number of surgical aortic-valve replacement procedures decreased slightly, from 8622 to 7048. Patients undergoing TAVR were older than those undergoing surgical aortic-valve replacement (mean [±SD] age, 81.0±6.1 years vs. 70.2±10.0 years) and at higher preoperative risk (estimated logistic EuroSCORE [European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation], 22.4% vs. 6.3%, on a scale of 0 to 100%, with higher scores indicating greater risk and a score of more than 20% indicating high surgical risk). In-hospital mortality decreased in both groups between 2007 and 2013 (from 13.2% to 5.4% with TAVR and from 3.8% to 2.2% with surgical aortic-valve replacement). The incidences of stroke, bleeding, and pacemaker implantation (but not acute kidney injury) also declined.
Conclusions: The use of TAVR increased markedly in Germany between 2007 and 2013; the concomitant reduction in the use of surgical aortic-valve replacement was moderate. Patients undergoing TAVR were older and at higher procedural risk than those undergoing surgical aortic-valve replacement. In-hospital mortality decreased in both groups but to a greater extent among patients undergoing TAVR. (Funded by the Heart Center, Freiburg University.).