Implantation depth of balloon-expandable transcatheter heart valves and risks for permanent pacemaker implantation and midterm adverse events

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2023 Dec;102(7):1301-1310. doi: 10.1002/ccd.30870. Epub 2023 Oct 25.


Background: Permanent pacemaker implantation (PPI) remains a relevant complication after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) and its impact on outcome remains controversial.

Aims: This study aimed to analyze the effects of implantation depth on PPI at 30 days and assess its impact on outcome with the balloon-expandable Sapien 3 (S3) prosthesis.

Methods: Between 2014 and 2018, 849 patients without previous pacemaker undergoing transfemoral TAVI with the S3 were included. Prosthesis implantation depth was measured and divided into Quintiles. An ordinal logistic regression was used to assess its association with PPI, while a multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify predictors of PPI. Survival analyses were performed with the Kaplan-Meier method and a multivariable Cox regression was performed to ascertain the impact of PPI on mortality.

Results: Overall, incidence of PPI at 30 days was 9.7%. Implantation depth decreased consistently from a median of 6.7 mm [5.55-8.00] in 2014 to 2.7 mm [2.30-3.50] in 2018 (p < 0.001). When considering Quintiles of implantation depth, incidence of PPI was significantly higher in upper Quintiles and risk for PPI was significantly lower for the 1. Quintile compared to the 5. Quintile (OR: 0.34, 95% CI: [0.16-0.73]; p = 0.003). In the adjusted multivariable logistic regression implantation depth persisted ad independent predictor of PPI at 30 days. Patients requiring PPI at 30 days displayed significantly higher mortality at 4 years compared to patients without PPI (49.5% vs. 40.0%; log-rank = 0.022). In a multivariate analysis, increased logistic EuroScore, diabetes mellitus, and history of atrial fibrillation, were independent predictors of all-cause mortality at 2 years.

Conclusions: Higher prosthesis implantation relative to the virtual aortic annulus was significantly associated with reduced risk for PPI at 30 days. Patients with PPI at 30 days exhibited higher mortality during follow-up, however, only logistic EuroScore, diabetes mellitus, and history of atrial fibrillation were identified as independent predictors of mortality at 2 years.

Keywords: TAVI; implantation depth; mortality; pacemaker implantation.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve / surgery
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis* / surgery
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / etiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Risk Factors
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement*
  • Treatment Outcome