The impact of the development of transcatheter aortic valve implantation on the management of severe aortic stenosis in high-risk patients: treatment strategies and outcome

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2017 Jan;51(1):80-88. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezw211. Epub 2016 Aug 30.


Objectives: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has reoriented the treatment of aortic stenosis (AS) for high-risk patients. Little is known about late outcome after TAVI, surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR) or medical treatment in a single centre. We report patients' characteristics, early and 6-year survival rates after the three therapeutic strategies, and the evolution over time. We also analysed predictive factors of mortality after TAVI or surgical AVR.

Methods: Between October 2006 and December 2010, 478 high-risk consecutive patients were referred for severe symptomatic AS. After Heart Team evaluation, 253 underwent a TAVI, 102 a surgical AVR and 123 medical treatment including 33 compassionate percutaneous balloon aortic valvuloplasties (PBAVs). Follow-up was complete in 98% of patients.

Results: Medically treated patients had higher risk scores than the other two groups. They presented a significantly worse survival (P < 0.001), with a 1-year rate of only 30%. The 33 patients who underwent compassionate PBAV presented the lowest survival rate, even lower than patients receiving drug therapy alone. In the TAVI group, patients had more comorbidities than those in the surgical group. There was no difference in 30-day survival rates [91 ± 2% for TAVI and 88 ± 3% for surgical AVR, hazard ratio (HR) for TAVI: 1.37; 95% CI: 0.73-2.58, P = 0.32]. Predictive factors of 30-day mortality were mainly postintervention complications illustrated by higher troponin levels and infection. The 6-year survival rates were 32 ± 4 and 40 ± 6% for TAVI and surgical AVR, respectively (HR for TAVI: 0.71; 95% CI: 0.53-0.97, P = 0.03), but the difference was no longer significant after adjustment on the Charlson comorbidity index (HR: 0.94; 95% CI: 0.68-1.29, P = 0.68). Predictive factors of late mortality were patients' comorbidities for both groups and paraprosthetic aortic regurgitation ≥2/4 for the TAVI group. The number of interventions (TAVI or surgery) increases over years, driven by the number of TAVI procedures without any decrease in surgical AVR.

Conclusions: In this single-centre study, medically treated patients with severe AS have a higher risk profile than those undergoing surgery or TAVI. Their survival is particularly poor and not improved by compassionate PBAV. When comparing TAVI and surgical AVR, there was no difference in 30-day and 6-year survival rates after adjusting for comorbidities.

Keywords: Aortic stenosis; Percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty; Surgical aortic valve replacement; Transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / diagnosis
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / mortality
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • France / epidemiology
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Time Factors
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement / methods*
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement / standards*