Objectives: To evaluate the safety and the feasibility of balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) procedure made by trained operators in centers not performing transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).
Background: BAV is a valuable therapeutic tool for patients with symptomatic severe aortic valve stenosis (AS) at prohibitive risk for TAVI or surgery.
Methods: Consecutive high-risk AS patients underwent BAV in five non-TAVI centers, where BAV operators had completed a 6-month training period in high-volume TAVI centers (Group A). All clinical, echocardiographic, and procedural data were prospectively collected and compared with data of patients treated in TAVI center (Group B).
Results: Between June 2016 and June 2017, 55 patients (83.9 ± 7.0 years) were enrolled: 25 in Group A and 30 in Group B. After BAV, a substantial reduction of the peak-to-peak aortic valve gradient was obtained in both groups (-35.3 ± 15.2 vs -28.8 ± 13.9 mmHg, P =0.25). No major bleeding or vascular complications occurred. In-hospital death was observed in three patients of Group A and two patients of Group B (P =0.493). The mean follow-up time was 303 ± 188 days; no patients were lost. The 1-year survival free from overall death (Group A 75.8% vs Group B 68.8%; P =0.682) and heart failure rehospitalization (Group A 73.0% vs Group B 66.8%; P =0.687) was similar in the two groups. At multivariable analysis, low left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (HR: 0.943; P = 0.011) and cardiogenic shock (HR: 5.128; P = 0.002) at admission were independent predictors of mortality.
Conclusions: BAV is a safe and effective procedure that can be performed by trained operators in centers not performing TAVI.
Keywords: aortic stenosis; balloon aortic valvuloplasty; transcatheter aortic valve implantation.
© 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.