Aims: Scarce data are available on the long-term structural and functional changes of prosthetic valves after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). The objective was to evaluate with echocardiography the long-term structural and functional changes of prosthetic valves after TAVI.
Methods and results: Structural valve deterioration (SVD) was defined as leaflet thickening ≥3mm, presence of calcification and abnormal leaflet motion. Five-year echocardiographic follow-up was available in 96 out of 318 patients who underwent TAVI with a balloon-expandable device between April 2008 and December 2011. At 1-year follow-up, no patient showed SVD. At 5-year follow-up, SVD were observed in 29 (30%) patients who showed also a significant reduction of aortic valve area (AVA) together with an increase of mean and peak aortic pressure gradients at the latest echocardiography evaluation. Moreover, rate of central aortic valve regurgitation ≥2 was higher in SVD patients as compared to those without SVD, while there was no difference in terms of paravalvular regurgitation. Despite SVD, one patient only reached the criteria for severe stenosis and no reintervention was needed at 5-year follow-up. Variables independently associated with SVD were female sex, small body surface area, use of a 23 mm valve, and small AVA at pre-discharge echocardiogram.
Conclusion: At 5-year follow-up, 30% of patients who underwent TAVI with a balloon-expandable valve showed initial SVD. However, SVD was not associated with severe stenosis in most of the patients and had no significant impact on and clinical outcome.
- Journal Article