Guidelines for Balancing Priorities in Structural Heart Disease During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cardiovasc Revasc Med. 2020 Aug;21(8):1030-1033. doi: 10.1016/j.carrev.2020.05.040. Epub 2020 May 30.


During the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many hospitals have been asked to postpone elective and surgical cases. This begs the question, "What is elective in structural heart disease intervention?" The recently proposed Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions/American College of Cardiology consensus statement is, unfortunately, non-specific and insufficient in its scope and scale of response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We propose guidelines that are practical, multidisciplinary, implementable, and urgent. We believe that this will provide a helpful framework for our colleagues to manage their practices during the surge and peak phases of the pandemic. General principles that apply across structural heart disease interventions include tracking and reporting cardiovascular outcomes, "healthcare distancing," preserving vital resources and personnel, shared decision-making between the heart team and hospital administration on resource-intensive cases, and considering delaying research cases. Specific guidance for transcatheter aortic valve replacement and MitraClip procedures varies according to pandemic phase. During the surge phase, treatment should broadly be limited to those at increased risk of complications in the near term. During the peak phase, treatment should be limited to inpatients for whom it may facilitate discharge. Keeping our patients and ourselves safe is paramount, as well as justly rationing resources.

Keywords: Aortic stenosis; Mitral regurgitation; Novel coronavirus disease 2019; Structural heart disease; Transcatheter aortic valve repair; Transcatheter mitral valve repair.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Cardiology / standards*
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Disease Management*
  • Global Health
  • Heart Diseases / epidemiology
  • Heart Diseases / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Societies, Medical*