Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

Updated: Aug 12, 2018
  • Author: Deepak R Talreja, MD, FACC, FSCAI; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Severe symptomatic aortic stenosis carries a poor prognosis. Until relatively recently, surgical aortic valve replacement has been the standard of care in adults with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. However, the risks associated with surgical aortic valve replacement are increased in elderly patients and those with concomitant severe systolic heart failure or coronary artery disease, as well as in patients with comorbidities such as cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease, chronic kidney disease, and chronic respiratory dysfunction.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was developed as an alternative to the surgical approach in this high-risk and inoperable population. TAVR is a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure to replace the function of the aortic valve. Indicated for patients at intermediate or greater risk for open heart surgery, TAVR may be an excellent option for certain patients because the prevalence of aortic stenosis and comorbidities may increase the risks associated with surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). The entire procedure typically takes approximately 1-2 hours. A heart team comprising cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists, and other aortic stenosis experts may determine what the best procedure is as well as take into account other considerations such as whether the patient should receive a mild sedative or general anesthesia.

At the start of the procedure, surgeons make a small incision in one of three places, the groin, the neck, or an intercostal space. A thin, flexible catheter with the heart valve is guided through the incision into the artery and to the diseased valve. The TAVR heart valve is placed in the diseased or failing surgical valve; it begins working immediately. The catheter is then removed and the incision closed.

Currently available devices in the United States include the self-expandable Evolut R and Evolut PRO valves, the balloon-expandable Sapien3 and Sapien 3 Ultra valves, and the mechanically-expandable Lotus Edge valve.



Inclusion criteria

No established indications or guidelines exist yet for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in the United States. In clinical trials, [7, 9] the inclusion criteria were as follows:

  • Patients with calcific aortic valve stenosis with the following echocardiographic criteria: mean gradient greater than 40 mm Hg or jet velocity more than 4 m/s and an initial aortic valve area (AVA) below 0.8 cm2 or indexed effective orifice area (EOA) of less than 0.5 cm2/m2; qualifying AVA baseline measurement must be within 45 days of the date of the procedure

  • A cardiac interventionalist and two experienced cardiothoracic surgeons agree that medical factors either preclude operation or are high risk for surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR), based on a conclusion that the probability of death or serious irreversible morbidity exceeds the probability of meaningful improvement; the surgeons' consult notes shall specify the medical or anatomic factors leading to that conclusion and include a printout of the calculation of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) score to additionally identify the risks in the patient; at least one of the cardiac surgeon assessors must have physically evaluated the patient

  • Patient is deemed to have symptomatic aortic valve stenosis, as differentiated from symptoms related to comorbid conditions and as demonstrated by New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class II or greater

In the European Union, TAVR is commercially available, and the procedure is performed in patients with severe aortic stenosis who are high-risk surgical candidates with a logistic EuroScore of more than 20% [10] and in patients who have a contraindication to SAVR.



Contraindications to transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and exclusion criteria are as follows:

  • Evidence of an acute myocardial infarction (MI) at 1 month (30 days) or less before the intended treatment (defined as Q-wave MI, or non–Q-wave MI with total creatine kinase [CK] elevation of CK-MB [muscle/brain] twice the normal level in the presence of MB elevation and/or troponin level elevation [World Health Organization definition])

  • Aortic valve is a congenital unicuspid or congenital bicuspid valve or is noncalcified

  • Mixed aortic valve disease (aortic stenosis and aortic regurgitation with predominant aortic regurgitation >3+)

  • Hemodynamic or respiratory instability requiring inotropic support, mechanical ventilation, or mechanical heart assistance within 30 days of the screening evaluation

  • Need for emergency surgery for any reason

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with or without obstruction

  • Severe left ventricular (LV) dysfunction with an LV ejection fraction (LVEF) of less than 20%

  • Severe pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular (RV) dysfunction

  • Echocardiographic evidence of intracardiac mass, thrombus, or vegetation

  • A known contraindication or hypersensitivity to all anticoagulation regimens or an inability to undergo anticoagulation for the study procedure

  • Native aortic annulus smaller than 18 mm or larger than 25 mm as measured with echocardiography

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-confirmed stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) within 6 months (180 days) of the procedure

  • Renal insufficiency (creatinine level >3 mg/dL) and/or end-stage renal disease requiring chronic dialysis at the time of screening

  • Estimated life expectancy of less than 12 months (365 days) owing to noncardiac comorbid conditions

  • Severe incapacitating dementia

  • Significant aortic disease, including abdominal aortic or thoracic aneurysm, defined as a maximal luminal diameter of 5 cm or greater, marked tortuosity (hyperacute bend), aortic arch atheroma (especially if thick [>5 mm], protruding, or ulcerated] or narrowing (especially with calcification and surface irregularities) of the abdominal or thoracic aorta, severe "unfolding" and tortuosity of the thoracic aorta

  • Severe mitral regurgitation [9, 11]  In a retrospective study (2008-2012) that evaluated whether high-risk patients with concomitant severe aortic stenosis and mitral valve disease should undergo double valve surgery (surgical aortic valve replacement and mitral valve surgery), investigators found that long-term survival in these patients may be similar to those for patients undergoing TAVR, but that surgical correction of double valvular disease in this patient population may not have a mortality benefit relative to TAVR alone. [12]


Technical Considerations

Best practices

A multidisciplinary team approach and the patient’s active participation in choosing the most appropriate form of treatment for aortic stenosis (transcatheter aortic valve replacement [TAVR] vs surgical aortic valve replacement [SAVR]) is critically important. Ideally, such a team would include the patient’s primary cardiologist, interventional cardiologist, cardiac surgeon, cardiac imaging specialist (echocardiography and computed tomography scanning or cardiac magnetic resonance imaging), cardiac anesthesiologist, nurse practitioners, and cardiac rehabilitation specialist. Such an approach would result in the best possible course of individualized treatment leading to the best possible clinical outcome.



Evolut transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) platform

There are two commercially available Medtronic heart valves, the Evolut R, and Evolut PRO valves, that come in different sizes. The Evolut TAVR platform, built on the proven foundation of the CoreValve valve, can be recaptured and repositioned. Its self-expanding nitinol frame enhances the ability to conform and seal to the native annulus. The supra-annular leaflet position keeps the working portion of the valve above and unconstrained by the native annulus. The Evolut PRO system features a unique valve design with an outer wrap that adds surface area contact between the valve and the native aortic annulus to further advance valve sealing performance. The supra-annular valve design maximizes leaflet coaptation and promotes single-digit gradients and large effective orifice areas (EOAs). The Evolut TAVR Systems commissure height and leaflet cuts are designed to minimize leaflet stress, as follows:

  • Taller leaflet design provides a 12% reduction in stress when compared to traditional valve designs
  • Reduces risk of collagen degeneration that could lead to tearing and valve failure [37]
  • Reduced leaflet stress is “likely to have improved performance in long-term applications” [38]

The self-expanding nitinol frame provides accurate, controlled deployment with valve function occurring at approximately two-thirds deployment, providing time to assess the valve position and performance before making the decision to deploy or recapture. The valve is made from strong and pliable porcine pericardial tissue, making it durable and allowing for a low-profile delivery. The Evolut TAVR platform has the ability to treat the broadest annulus range, and the Evolut TAVR system maintains its outer diameter as it enters the vessel. The risk of major vascular complications increases as the outer diameter of the catheter increases. [39]  The outer diameter does not change as the system is advanced to the annulus with a vessel indication down to the following:

  • ≥5.5 mm for Evolut PRO TAVs 23, 26, 29 mm and for Evolut R TAV 34 mm (20Fr outer diameter is 16Fr equivalent)
  • ≥5.0 mm for Evolut R TAVs 23, 26, 29 mm (18Fr outer diameter is 14Fr equivalent)

The first-generation CoreValve device is no longer commercially available.

Clinical trials

The Evolut platform has demonstrated excellent safety and efficacy compared with surgery in extreme, high, intermediate, and low surgical risk patients. More recently, the Evolut Platform demonstrated significantly less composite death, disabling stroke, and heart failure hospitalization compared with SAVR in low-risk patients at 1 year and was noninferior relative to SAVR at 2 years. [40]

Figure 1. Evolut Low-Risk Trial 1-Year Results  [40]

Table 1. Evolut Platform Clinical Trial Results (Open Table in a new window)



Age (y)

STS Score

30-Day Mortality

1-Year Mortality

30-Day All Stroke

1-Year All Stroke

CoreValve US Pivotal Extreme-Risk Trial


83.2 ± 8.7

10.3 ± 5.5





Corevalve US Pivotal High-Risk Trial


83.1 ± 7.1

7.3 ± 3.0





Evolut R US Pivotal Trial


83.3 ± 7.2

7.4 ± 3.4





Evolut Forward Study


81.8 ± 6.2

5.5 ± 4.5





SURTAVI Clinical Trial


79.9 ± 6.2

4.4 ± 1.5





SURTAVI Continued Access Study


79.0 ± 6.1

4.1 ± 4.5





Evolut PRO Trial


83.3 ± 7.2

6.4 ± 3.9





TVT-Registry- Evolut PRO


81.3 ± 7.7

6.7 ± 4.4





Evolut Low Risk Trial


74.1 ± 5.8

1.9 ± 0.7





STS = Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Table 2. Evolut TAVR Profile Sizing Information (Open Table in a new window)



Evolut R TAV



Evolut PRO TAV 23/26/29

Evolut R TAV 34

Minimum Vessel Indication

≥ 5.0 mm

≥ 5.5 mm

System Classification

14Fr Equivalent

16Fr Equivalent

Delivered Size

6.0 mm

6.7 mm

Fully Expanded

6.0 mm

6.7 mm

TAV = transcatheter aortic valve.

Sapien 3 TAVR

The Edwards E-Sheath outer diameter increases from 6.0 to 8.2 mm once the delivery system is advanced through the vessel—a 35% increase.

Table 3: Sapien TAVR Profile Sizing Information (Open Table in a new window)



Sapien* 3

20/23 TAVs


Sapien 329 TAV

Minimum Vessel Indication

≥5.5 mm

≥6.0 mm

System Classification

14Fr e-sheath

16Fr e-sheath

Delivered Size

5.8 mm

6.5 mm

Fully Expanded

7.6 mm*

8.2 mm*

* = . 

 = .

TAV = transcatheter aortic valve.

Clinical trials

The Sapien platform has also demonstrated success in extreme, high, intermediate, and low surgical risk patients. More recently, the Sapien 3 demonstrated significantly lower rates of composite death, stroke, or rehospitalization compared to SAVR in low-risk patients at 1 year.​ [42]

Figure 2. PARTNER 3 Trial 1-Year Results  [42]

Table 4. Sapien Platform Clinical Trial Results (Open Table in a new window)



Age (y)

STS Score

30-Day Mortality

1-Year Mortality

30-Day All Stroke

1-Year All Stroke



83.6 ± 6.8

11.8 ± 3.3







83.1 ± 8.6

11.2 ± 5.8







81.5 ± 6.7

5.8 ± 2.1







84.6 ± 8.6

11.0 ± 5.71







84.1 ± 8.7

10.29 ± 5.38





PARTNER S3 High/Inoperable


82.7 ± 8.1

8.7 ± 3.7







81.9 ± 6.6

5.3+ 1.3





Source 3 TF


81.7 ± 6.7






TVT-Registry-Sapien 3


73 ± 11

5.1 ± 4.2







73.3 ± 5.8

1.9 ± 0.7





NA = not available; STS = Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Lotus Edge TAVR

Figure 3. Lotus Edge Valve System Information

Clinical trials

The Lotus platform has demonstrated safety in high-risk patients, but there have been no completed clinical trials in intermediate- or low-risk patients. [44]

Table 5. Lotus Platform Clinical Trial Results (Open Table in a new window)



Age (y)

STS Score

30-Day Mortality

1-Year Mortality

30-Day All Stroke

1-Year All Stroke

Reprise II CE


84.4 ± 5.3

7.1 ± 4.6





Reprise II Extended


84.0 ± 5.2

6.5 ± 4.2





Reprise III - Lotus










80.8 ± 6.5

6.0 ± 6.9





STS = Society of Thoracic Surgeons.



Structural valve deterioration/durability

There are many factors that can affect valve durability. Lack of valvular circularity may contribute to undue stresses on leaflet tissue, as well as irregular leaflet motion, which may result in reduced durability.[i] Poor flow characteristics, due to an obstructive design,  may affect EOA and gradient adversely, thereby  impacting the longevity of the tissue.[ii] Design elements that produce points of stasis could  produce an increased risk of thrombosis, resulting in  suboptimal clinical results.[iii]

Additionally, there have been recent updates to structural valve deterioration definitions, with the focus around hemodynamic stability. (2017 EAPCI/ESC/EACTS definition: Moderate or severe haemodynamic  SVD: mean gradient ≥ 20  mm Hg or mean gradient ≥ 10 mm Hg change from  baseline or moderate/  severe intra-prosthetic  aortic regurgitation (AR)  (new or worsening from  baseline).) [iv]

  • The NOTION Trial: self-expanding TAVR vs. SAVR in lower risk patients > 70 years eligible for surgery (more than 80% of patients had an STS ,3%.). TAVR had less SVD out to 6 years (4.8% vs. 24.0%). [v]
  • Similarly, in the CoreValve US High Risk Pivotal Trial 5-year outcomes reported low SVD for TAVR vs. SAVR (9.5% vs. 26.6%). [vi]
  • The CHOICE Registry is a randomized study of first generation self-expanding TAVR vs. balloon-expandable. The 5-year results showed lower SVD for self-expanding vs. balloon-expandable TAVR (0.0% VS. 6.6%). [vii]

[i] 43 Gunning PS, Saikrishnan N, Yoganathan AP, McNamara LM. Total ellipse of the heart valve: the impact of eccentric  stent distortion on the regional dynamic deformation of pericardial tissue leaflets of a transcatheter aortic valve  replacement. J R Soc Interface. December 6, 2015;12(113):20150737.

[ii] Flameng W, Herregods MC, Vercalsteren M, Herijgers P, Bogaerts K, Meuris B. Prosthesis-patient mismatch  predicts structural valve degeneration in bioprosthetic heart valves. Circulation. May 18, 2010;121(19):2123-2129. 

[iii] Midha PA, Raghav V, Sharma R, et al. The Fluid Mechanics of Transcatheter Heart Valve Leaflet Thrombosis in the  Neosinus. Circulation. October 24, 2017;136(17):1598-1609.

[iv] Capodanno D, Petronio AS, Prendergast B, et al. Standardized definitions of structural deteriora-tion and valve failure in assessing long-term durability of transcatheter and surgical aortic bioprosthetic valves: a consensus statement from the European Association of Percutaneous Car-diovascular Interventions (EAPCI). Eur Heart J 2017;38:3382–90.

[v] Søndergaard L, Ihlemann N, Capodanno D, et al. Durability of Transcatheter and Surgical Bioprosthetic Aortic Valves in  Patients at Lower Surgical Risk. J Am Coll Cardiol. February 12, 2019;73(5):546-553.

[vi] Gleason, TG, Reardon, MJ, Popma, JJ, et al. 5-year Outcomes from the Randomized CoreValve US Pivotal High Risk Trial: Final Results. J Am Coll Cardiol. September 2018; 72(13 Supplement).

[vii] Adbel-Wahab, M. Five-year outcomes after TAVI with balloon-expandable vs. self-expanding valves: Results from the CHOICE randomised clinical trial. Presented at EuroPCR 2019.

Patient-prosthesis mismatch

“Patient-prosthesis mismatch (PPM) occurs when the effective orifice area (EOA) of a normally functioning prosthesis is too small in relation to the patient’s body size …”vi. In order to avoid PPM, TAVR valve selection and their hemodynamics (EOA and mean gradients) may be an important consideration for patients and impact of activity levels.[i]

Native valves have an EOA of 3-4 cm2.[ii] [, iii]   Patients will experience symptoms of AS when the area is less than half.vii  As patient-prosthesis mismatch (PPM)  is associated with poorer exercise  capacity, a larger EOA may result in  a quicker return to activity.[iv] Patient-prosthesis mismatch (PPM) drives gradients higher, particularly during exercise.  Severe PPM has been associated with increased mortality.[v] This is particularly important for patients who are more active and expected to live longer. Evidence suggests that a large EOA reduces PPM and allows patients to maintain  a higher exercise capacity.viii [, vi, vii] An STS/ACC TVT Registry™ recent analysis examined the incidence and predictors of  prosthesis-patient mismatch (PPM) after TAVI in over 60,000  patients and indicated patient outcomes may improve when steps are taken to reduce and limit PPM.[viii] Several studies have demonstrated lower gradients and less PPM with self- expanding as compared to balloon-expandable prosthesis.[ix] [, x, xi] Additionally, a retrospective analysis of 30 day TTE outcomes reported normal reference values by native annular diameters showing intra-annular Sapien 3 TAVR was are higher risk of PPM.[xii]

[i] Baim DS, Grossman W. Complications of cardiac catheterization. In: Baim DS, Grossman W, eds. Cardiac Catheterization, Angiography and Intervention. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins; 1996:129.

[ii] Dahou A, Mahjoub H, Pibarot P. Prosthesis-Patient Mismatch After Aortic Valve Replacement. Curr Treat Options Cardiovasc Med. November 2016;18(11):67.

[iii] Head SJ, Mokhles MM, Osnabrugge RL, et al. The impact of prosthesis-patient mismatch on long-term survival after aortic valve replacement: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 34 observational studies comprising 27 186 patients with 133 141 patient-years. Eur Heart J. June 2012;33(12):1518-1529.

[iv] Van Slooten YJ, van Melle JP, Freling HG, et al. Aortic valve prosthesis-patient mismatch and exercise capacity in adult patients with congenital heart disease. Heart. January 2016;102(2):107-113.

[v] Zorn GL 3rd, Little SH, Tadros P, et al. Prosthesis-patient mismatch in high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis: A randomized trial of a self-expanding prosthesis. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. April 2016;151(4):1014-1023.e1-3.

[vi] Pibarot P, Dumesnil JG. Hemodynamic and clinical impact of prosthesis patient mismatch in the aortic valve position and its prevention. J Am Coll Cardiol. October 2000;36(4):1131-1141.

[vii] Bleiziffer S, Eichinger WB, Hettich I, et al. Impact of patient-prosthesis mismatch on exercise capacity in patients after bioprosthesis aortic valve replacement. Heart. May 2008;94(5):637-641.

[viii] Herrmann HC, Daneshvar SA, Fonarow GC, et al. Prosthesis-Patient Mismatch in 62,125 Patients Following Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement: From the STS/ ACC TVT Registry. J Am Coll Cardiol. December 4, 2018;72(22):2701-2711.

[ix] Jilaihawi H, Chin D, Spyt T, et al. Prosthesis-patient mismatch after transcatheter aortic valve implantation with the  Medtronic-CoreValve bioprosthesis. Eur Heart J. April 2010;31(7):857-864.

[x] Dvir D, Webb JG, Bleiziffer S, et al. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation in failed bioprosthetic surgical valves. JAMA. July 2014;312(2):162-170.

[xi] Pibarot P, Simonato M, Barbanti M, et al. Impact of Pre-Existing Prosthesis-Patient Mismatch on Survival Following Aortic Valve-in-Valve Procedures. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. January 22, 2018;11(2):133-141.

[xii] Hahn RT, Leipsic J,  Douglas PS. et al.  Comprehensive  Echocardiogrpahic  Assessment of Normal  Transcatheter Valve  Function. J Am Coll  Cardiol. January  2019;12(1):25-34.

Stroke and neurologic injury

Early data from TAVI clinical trials suggest that TAVI could increase the risk of stroke compared to SAVR or standard medical therapy in patients with aortic stenosis.[i] [, ii] Other randomized trials have shown a similar or lower risk for all stroke and/or disabling stroke for TAVI compared to SAVR.[iii] [, iv, v] The SURTAVI trial demonstrated a numerically lower rate of stroke in TAVI compared to SAVR out to 24 months.[vi]

[i] Smith, CR., et al. Transcatheter versus Surgical Aortic-Valve Replacement in High-Risk Patients. N Engl J Med 2011; 364:2187-2198.

[ii] Leon, MB., et al. Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Implantation for Aortic Stenosis in Patients Who Cannot Undergo Surgery. N Engl J Med 2010; 363:1597-1607.

[iii] Leon MB, Smith CR, Mack MJ, et al. Transcatheter or Surgical Aortic-Valve Replacement in Intermediate-Risk Patients. N Engl J Med. April 28, 2016;374(17):1609-1620.

[iv] Adams, DH., et al. Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Replacement with a Self-Expanding Prosthesis. N Engl J Med 2014; 370:1790-1798 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1400590

[v] Thyregod, HGH., et al. Transcatheter Versus Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement in Patients With Severe Aortic Valve Stenosis: 1-Year Results From the All-Comers NOTION Randomized Clinical Trial. JACC. Volume 65, Issue 20, 26 May 2015, Pages 2184-2194

[vi] Popma JJ. SURTAVI: Two Year Complete Results from a Randomized Trial of a Self-expanding Transcatheter Heart Valve vs. Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement in Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis at Intermediate Surgical Risk. Presented at TCT 2018.

Aortic regurgitation

Newer generation valves with the addition for pericardial wraps or tissue skirt have seen improvements in PVL, similar to mechanically-expandable valves. xxv

Valve thrombosis

Design elements that produce points of stasis could increase risk of thrombosis, resulting in suboptimal clinical results.vii A supra-annular design decreases the likelihood of a neo-sinus — allowing adequate washing behind the native leaflets.[i] Intra-annularity may be a risk factor for thrombosis formation.v,vii The presence of reduced leaflet motion (RLM) is associated with increased risk of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA).[ii]

[i] Vahidkhah K, Barakat M, Abbasi M, et al. Valve thrombosis following transcatheter aortic valve replacement: significance of blood stasis on the leaflets. Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. May 1, 2017;51(5):927-935

[ii] Makki N, Shreenivas S, Kereiakes D, Lilly S. A meta-analysis of reduced leaflet motion for surgical and transcatheter aortic valves: Relationship to cerebrovascular events and valve degeneration. Cardiovasc Revasc Med. October-November 2018;19(7 Pt B):868-873.

Conduction disturbances

Conduction disturbance continues to be a key consideration in all TAVR procedures. There is a need for further evidence around conduction disturbance, procedural efficiencies, operator experience and the factors surrounding it. The need for a permanent pacemaker is a known risk of both transcatheter and surgical valve replacement. 

While some early generation TAVR devices were associated with a pacemaker rate of >20%, current commercially available devices report pacemaker rates of < 15%. [i] [, ii, iii]

[i] Forrest, J., et al. 30-Day Safety and Echocardiographic Outcomes Following TAVR with the Self-Expanding Repositionable Evolut PRO System. JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions Volume 11, Issue 2, 22 January 2018, Pages 160-168

[ii] Kodali, SK., et al. Two-year outcomes after transcatheter or surgical aortic-valve replacement. N Engl J Med. 2012 May 3;366(18):1686-95. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1200384.

[iii] Forrest, J., et al. 30-Day Outcomes Following TAVR with the Evolut PRO Valve in Commercial Use: A Report From the STS/ACC TVT Registry™​. Presented at TCT 2018.

Annular rupture

Annular rupture is a rare complication of TAVR. Predisposing factors include small sinotubular junction or annular size, bulky and dense calcification, aggressive BAV, and porcelain aorta. Once annular rupture occurs, it is associated with high mortality. Management includes decisions for comfort care and sedation, attempts at medical management with pericardial drainage and autotransfusion of smaller leaks, or emergent conversion to an open operation. [9]

Post-TAVR coronary access

Post-TAVR PCI management is an important consideration for the lifetime management of low risk patients. Per the literature, the need to reaccess the coronaries is a very infrequent occurrence and a procedure with a very high success rate.

  • Prevalence of CAD in patients with severe aortic stenosis undergoing TAVR ranges from 40% to 75%. [i]
  • Single and multicenter studies report a range of 1.9%-5.7% of aortic valve replacement (TAVR or SAVR) patients required PCI post TAVR. [ii] [, iii, iv]
  • The duration of time between the index AVR procedure and PCI varied widely for both TAVR and SAVR patients. (Mean days from index AVR to PCI Procedure: TAVR: 699.8±406.9 days, SAVR: 822.1 ±527.1 days. Linearized rate of PCI post AVR in patients (per year): TAVR: 0.008 SAVR: 0.009.) vii
  • Clinical data show that coronary access post-TAVR is technically feasible and generally reported positive outcomes for all TAV types with an average PCI success rate of 93.8%. vi , vii , viii [, v, vi, vii, viii]
  • For most TAVR patients, the risk of a future failed PCI attempt is low (0.4%) and therefore may not be as important as other, more acute procedural concerns.
    • Given the average PCI success rate of 93.8% and the post-TAVR PCI rate of 5.7%v,vii,viii, the mean calculated risk for an unsuccessful PCI is 0.4% – meaning a 99.6% rate of favorable outcomes.

Figure 4. Evolut TAVR Frame Cell for Coronary Access

[i] Yudi, et. al. Coronary Angiography and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. JACC. Mar 2018, 71 (12) 1360-1378; DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2018.01.057

[ii]    Tanaka A , Jabbour RJ, Testa L, et al. Incidence, technical safety and feasibility of coronary angiography and intervention following self-expanding transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Cardiovasc Revasc Med. Published online February 14, 2019.

[iii]   Kleiman NS. Coronary Intervention After Self-Expanding Transcatheter or Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement in the SURTAVI Trial. Presented at CRT 2019; Washington, D.C.

[iv]   Allali A, El-Mawardy M, Schwarz B, et al. Incidence, feasibility and outcome of percutaneous coronary inter vention af ter transcatheter aortic valve implantation with a self-expanding prosthesis. Results from a single center experience. Cardiovasc Revasc Med. September 2016;17(6):391-398.

[v]   Htun WW, Grines C, Schreiber T. Feasibility of coronary angiography and percutaneous coronary intervention after transcatheter aortic valve replacement using a Medtronic™ self-expandable bioprosthetic valve. Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. June 2018;91(7):1339-1344.

[vi]  Zivelonghi C, Pesarini G, Scarsini R, et al. Coronary Catheterization and Percutaneous Interventions After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation. Am J Cardiol. August 15, 2017;120(4):625-631

[vii]   Chetcuti S, Kleiman N, Matthews R, Popma JJ, Moore J. TCT-743 Percutaneous Coronary Intervention after Self-Expanding Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. J Am Coll Cardiol. November 2016;68(18_Suppl):B300-B301.

[viii]   Blumenstein J, Kim WK, Liebetrau C, et al. Challenges of coronary angiography and intervention in patients previously treated by TAVI. Clin Res Cardiol. August 2015;104(8):623-639.

Valve embolization

Valve embolization generally occurs in one or more of the following conditions:

  • Undersizing of the bioprosthesis

  • Malposition

  • Inappropriate capture during rapid ventricular pacing

In cases of aortic embolization, it is extremely important not to remove the guidewire from across the bioprosthetic valve until it is anchored in the distal aorta to prevent it from turning. A balloon catheter is placed in the proximal end of the prosthetic valve, and the valve is pulled distal to the left subclavian artery when it can be deployed or fully expanded. After fixing the embolized prosthesis, a new valve is then implanted in the aortic position. If, prior to fixing the embolized valve, the guidewire position is lost, the valve may become inverted, jeopardizing the antegrade blood flow through it, and, if left untreated, it is uniformly fatal. Valve embolization into the left ventricle is uniformly fatal. Aortography is recommended after valve manipulation to evaluate for any aortic dissection. [27]

Renal insufficiency

Acute renal failure after TAVR has an incidence of 12%-28% and may progress to require dialysis in 1.4% of cases. The important risk factors for development of renal failure include hypertension (OR = 4.66), transfusion requirement (OR = 3.47), and COPD (OR = 2.64). Acute renal failure is less common in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation than in those undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement (2.5% vs 8.7%). [27]

Vascular complications

Vascular complications include aortic or iliofemoral dissection, vascular perforation, vessel rupture or avulsion, bleeding requiring significant blood transfusions, or additional percutaneous or surgical interventions. [27] These are the most frequent adverse outcomes of TAVR and are especially common with the TF approach.

These complications relate to the large-caliber sheaths necessary for device deployment, as well as severe atherosclerosis of the arteries, which is common. [28] Center/operator experience, the degree and location of vascular calcification (higher risk of complications in longer and more severely calcified arterial segments), vascular tortuosity, and sheath-to-artery ratio (higher risk of complications with larger sheath sizes) are predictors of major vascular complications. [28, 29] The incidence of major vascular complications ranges from 2%-26% with TF access (related to vessel size, tortuosity, and degree of aortoiliac occlusive disease) and 5%-7% with TA access.

Ventricular perforation

Ventricular perforation is a rare complication of TF TAVR. Its management includes pericardial drainage and autotransfusion or conversion to open closure.