Trends in aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis: a French nationwide study

Eur Heart J. 2021 Nov 25;ehab773. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab773. Online ahead of print.


Aims: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) as an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) has profoundly changed the management of patients with aortic valve stenosis (AS). Large unbiased nationwide data regarding TAVR implementation, impact on SAVR and their respective outcomes are scarce.

Methods and results: Based on a French administrative hospital-discharge database, we collected data on all consecutive aortic valve replacements (AVRs) performed in France for AS between 2007 and 2019 [106 253 isolated SAVR (49%), 46 514 combined SAVR (21%), and 65 651 TAVR (30%)]. The number of AVR linearly increased between 2007 and 2019 (from 10 892 to 23 109, P for trend < 0.0001) due to a marked increase in TAVR (from 253 to 13 030, P for trend < 0.0001), while SAVR increased up to 2013 and then declined (10 892 in 2007, 12 699 in 2013, and 10 079 in 2019). The Charlson index decreased linearly for TAVR, but in two steps for SAVR (2011 and 2017). In-hospital mortality rates of both SAVR and TAVR declined (both P for trend < 0.0001) and were similar or lower for TAVR than for isolated SAVR in patients 75 years or above in the last 3 years (2017-19). Complication rates of TAVR also declined but permanent pacemaker rates remained high and length of stay substantial (16.7% and median 6 days, respectively, in 2017-19).

Conclusion: The number of AVR has doubled in a decade and TAVR has become the dominant form of AVR in 2018. The improvement in patient profiles seems to have anticipated the demonstrated benefit of TAVR in intermediate and low-risk patients. In patients 75 years or older, TAVR should be considered as the first option. We also highlight two important areas for improvement, the high permanent pacemaker rates, and the long length of stay even in the contemporary era. Our results may have major implications for clinical practice and policymakers.

Keywords: Aortic stenosis; Aortic valve replacement; Outcome; Transcatheter therapies.