Background: Left ventricular (LV) mechanics are impaired in patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS). Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has become a widespread technique for patients with severe AS considered inoperable or high risk for traditional open-surgery. This procedure could have a positive impact in LV mechanics. The aim of this study was to evaluate the immediate effect of TAVR on LV function recovery, as assessed by myocardial deformation parameters.
Methods: One-hundred twelve consecutive patients (81.4 ± 6.4 years, 50% female) from 10 centres in Europe with severe AS who successfully underwent TAVR with either a self-expanding CoreValve (Medtronic, Minneapolis, MN) or a mechanically expanded Lotus valve (Boston Scientific, Natick, MA) were enrolled in a prospective multi-center study. A complete echocardiographic examination was performed at baseline and immediately before discharge, including the assessment of LV strain using standard two-dimensional images.
Results: Echocardiographic examination with global longitudinal strain (GLS) quantification could be obtained in 92 patients, because of echocardiographic and logistic reasons. Between examinations, a modest statistically significant improvement in GLS could be seen (GLS% -15.00 ± 4.80 at baseline;-16.15 ± 4.97 at discharge, p = 0.028). In a stratified analysis, only women showed a significant improvement in GLS and a trend towards greater improvement in GLS according to severity of systolic dysfunction as measured by LV ejection fraction could be noted.
Conclusions: Immediate improvement in GLS was appreciated after TAVR procedure. Whether this finding continues to be noted in a more prolonged follow-up and its clinical implications need to be assessed in further studies.
Keywords: aortic stenosis; echocardiography; left ventricular mechanics; strain; transcatheter aortic valve replacement.