Serial changes in cardiac sympathetic nervous function after transcatheter aortic valve replacement: A prospective observational study using 123 I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine imaging

J Nucl Cardiol. 2021 Sep 24. doi: 10.1007/s12350-021-02799-0. Online ahead of print.


Background: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) can rapidly improve cardiac sympathetic nervous function (CSNF) within 2 weeks in patients with aortic stenosis (AS). However, whether such short-term improvements will be sustained thereafter remains unclear.

Methods: Patients with severe AS who underwent TAVR between October 2017 and June 2019 were enrolled in this single-center, prospective, observational study. 123I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine imaging was performed at baseline, within 2 weeks after TAVR, and at 6 to 12 months post-TAVR to evaluate the heart-mediastinum ratio (H/M) and washout rate.

Results: Of 183 consecutive patients, 75 (19 men; median age: 86 years) were evaluated. The late H/M significantly improved within 2 weeks after TAVR (P = .041) and further improved over 6 to 12 months after TAVR (P = .041). Multivariate analysis revealed that the baseline mean aortic valve pressure gradient (mPG) was an independent predictor of mid-term improvement in the late H/M (> 0.1) (P = .037). Patients with a high baseline mPG (≥ 58 mmHg) exhibited a significantly greater increase in the late H/M than those with a low baseline mPG (< 42 mmHg) (0.24 vs 0.01; P = .029).

Conclusion: CSNF demonstrated sustained improvement from within 2 weeks after TAVR until 6 to 12 months later. Such improvement was related to baseline hemodynamic AS severity.

Keywords: 123I-meta-iodobenzylguanidine imaging; aortic stenosis; cardiac sympathetic nervous function; transcatheter aortic valve replacement.