Background: The prevalence of aortic stenosis increases with advancing age. Once symptoms occur the prognosis in patients with severe aortic stenosis is poor. The current and recommended treatment of choice for these patients is surgical aortic valve replacement. However, many patients, mainly the very elderly and those with major comorbidities, are considered to be at high surgical risk and are therefore denied treatment. Recently, a transcatheter alternative to surgical AVR has emerged.
Objectives: To describe the first year experience and 30 day outcome of transcatheter aortic self-expandable CoreValve implantation in Israel.
Methods: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation using the CoreValve system has been performed in Israel since September 2008. In the following year 55 patients underwent CoreValve TAVI in four Israeli centers.
Results: Patients' mean age was 81.7 ± 7.1 years; there were 35 females and 20 males. The mean valve area by echocardiogram was 0.63 ± 0.16 cm2. The calculated mean logistic Euroscore was 19.3 ± 8%. Following TAVI, mean transvalvular gradient decreased from baseline levels of 51 ± 13 to 9 ± 3 mmHg. The rate of procedural success was 98%. One patient died on the first day post-procedure (1.8%) and all-cause 30 day mortality was 5.5% (3 of 55 patients). One patient had a significant post-procedural aortic regurgitation of > grade 2. Symptomatic improvement was evident in most patients, with reduction in functional capacity grade from 3.2 ± 0.6 at baseline to 1.4 ± 0.7. The most common post-procedural complication was complete heart block, which necessitated permanent pacemaker implantation in 37% of patients.
Conclusions: The Israeli first year experience of transcatheter aortic valve implantation using the CoreValve self-expandable system demonstrates an effective and safe procedure for the treatment of severe aortic stenosis in patients at high surgical risk.