Pre-implantation balloon-aortic valvuloplasty before transcatheter aortic valve implantation: is this still needed?
Balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) has historically been recommended prior to transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). Pre-implantation BAV (pBAV) creates fractures at the level of calcified leaflets, thereby facilitating delivery of the transcatheter valve system across the diseased aortic valve and, enhances prosthesis implantation and expansion within the calcified aortic valve annulus. New device designs, lower profile delivery systems and increasing operator experience have enabled direct-TAVI (without pBAV), and its appeal amongst TAVI operators enhanced the dissemination of a direct TAVI approach across many centres. In this review, we discuss contemporary evidence that inform the debate on the need for routine pBAV for TAVI candidates and present a framework that may assist operators in selecting patients for pBAV.