Optimizing Timing of Valve Intervention in Patients With Asymptomatic Severe Valvular Heart Disease

Can J Cardiol. 2021 Jul;37(7):1041-1053. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2021.05.001. Epub 2021 May 12.


The management of valvular heart disease has changed dramatically over the past decade with advances in cardiac imaging, the use of novel biomarkers, and the development of transcatheter valve repair and replacement technology. International society guidelines have kept pace to provide recommendations for diagnosis, follow-up, and timing of intervention. The most challenging patient cohort for clinicians are patients with asymptomatic severe disease in whom the optimal timing of intervention can be ill-defined. It is a fine balance between the risks of early intervention on asymptomatic patients and improving patient outcomes by preventing long-term cardiac complications. The key in optimal patient management is gathering the necessary information on patient risk and combining that with the risk, efficacy, and durability of valve interventions to arrive at the appropriate timing for intervention. This group of patients will be the focus of this review as we delve into the natural history, recommended follow-up, and indications for intervention in patients with degenerative aortic and mitral valve disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asymptomatic Diseases / therapy*
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / complications
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / physiopathology
  • Heart Valve Diseases* / surgery
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Risk Adjustment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time
  • Time-to-Treatment / standards*