Aortic stenosis is one of the most frequent valvular diseases in developed countries, and its impact on public health resources and assistance is increasing. A substantial proportion of elderly people with severe aortic stenosis is not eligible to surgery because of the advanced age, frailty, and multiple co-morbidities. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) enables the treatment of very elderly patients at high or prohibitive surgical risk considered ineligible for surgery and with an acceptable life expectancy. However, a significant percentage of patients die or show no improvement in quality of life (QOL) in the follow-up. In the decision-making process, it is important to determine: (i) whether and how much frailty of the patient influences the risk of procedures; (ii) how the QOL and the individual patient's survival are influenced by aortic valve disease or from other associated conditions; and (iii) whether a geriatric specialist intervention to evaluate and correct frailty or other diseases with their potential or already manifest disabilities can improve the outcome of surgery or TAVI. Consequently, in addition to risk stratification with conventional tools, a number of factors including multi-morbidity, disability, frailty, and cognitive function should be considered, in order to assess the expected benefit of both surgery and TAVI. The pre-operative optimization through a multidisciplinary approach with a Heart Team can counteract the multiple damage (cardiac, neurological, muscular, respiratory, and kidney) that can potentially aggravate the reduced physiological reserves characteristic of frailty. The systematic application in clinical practice of multidimensional assessment instruments of frailty and cognitive function in the screening and the adoption of specific care pathways should facilitate this task.
- Aortic stenosis
- Geriatric assessment
- Risk score
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine