BACKGROUND: Post-procedural aortic regurgitation (AR) negatively impacts the prognosis after trans-catheter aortic valve implantation. However, data evaluating the impact of different post-procedural AR grades (particularly mild) on clinical outcomes are still important.
AIM AND METHODS: A retrospective cohort analysis was performed on all consecutive patients with severe aortic stenosis who underwent trans-catheter aortic valve implantation between July 2008 and August 2011 in a single Institution. Aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of different post-procedural AR grades on early and mid-term clinical outcomes.
RESULTS: 322 consecutive patients were evaluated. At post-procedural echocardiographic evaluation: 105 (32.6%) patients had no AR, 204 (63.4%) mild AR and 13 (4%) moderate/severe AR. In-hospital mortality was higher in patients with moderate/severe AR than in those with absent or mild AR (38.5% vs. 2.6%, P < 0.001). At a median clinical follow-up of 342 days [interquartile range 93-485] cardiovascular mortality was 2.9% in patients without AR; 13.2% in the mild AR group (P = 0.004 vs. absent AR) and 46.2% in the moderate/severe AR group (P < 0.001 vs. mild or absent AR). On multivariable analysis, post-procedural AR (hazard ratio = 2.65 absent vs. present any grade, 95% confidence interval = 1.11-6.29; P = 0.027) was an independent predictor of mid-term mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: The impact of post-procedural AR on outcomes after trans-catheter aortic valve implantation is proportional with its grade even in case of mild post-procedural AR compared to absent. This study confirms that every effort should be made to reduce the grade of post-procedural AR after trans-catheter aortic valve implantation with current devices.