Valve durability after transcatheter aortic valve implantation
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is a minimally invasive procedure to treat severe symptomatic aortic stenosis. While the TAVI procedure can be performed safely and provide excellent 5-year results, little is known about long-term durability. TAVI valves are composed of bioprosthetic leaflets are prone to deterioration, which are categorized as structural valve deterioration (SVD) and non-SVD. SVD refers to an intrinsic pathology of the leaflets or stent structure with mechanisms that include leaflet calcification, leaflet tear, stent fracture, or stent creep. Non-SVD processes include valve thrombosis, infective endocarditis and patient prosthesis mismatch. TAVI valves degenerate by similar mechanisms as bioprosthetic surgical aortic valves. Unique mechanisms that contribute to TAVI degeneration include valve crimpling, balloon expansion, stent under-expansion and valve thrombosis. The absence of a universally accepted definition of SVD poses a challenge in estimating valve durability. Traditional surgical bioprosthetic aortic valves have demonstrated excellent durability with clinically relevant SVD of 6.6% at 10-year follow up. Long-term durability of TAVI valves, however, remain poorly defined. From meta-analysis TAVI trials, SVD was estimated at 7% at 5 years. With iterative improvements in TAVI valve construction and deployment techniques, long-term durability may improve. Until long-term outcomes are better understood, TAVI should be used with caution in younger patients.