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June 22/29, 2021

Transcatheter Treatment of Valvular Heart Disease: A Review

Author Affiliations
  • 1Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute and Departments of Medicine and Cardiology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2021;325(24):2480-2494. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.2133

Importance  More than 40 million people are living with either mitral or aortic valve disease worldwide, and more than 180 000 heart valve replacement surgeries are performed each year in the US. Transcatheter valve repair has emerged as an important therapeutic option for patients who are candidates for heart valve replacement.

Observations  All transcatheter valve therapies involve a multidisciplinary team of interventional cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, radiologists, echocardiographers, nurses, and social workers, termed the heart team, to determine the optimal approach for managing each patient. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is an aortic valve replacement procedure that is performed percutaneously and is currently approved for patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis in all surgical risk categories. The TAVI procedure can be performed using a balloon-expandable or self-expanding valve. In a low-risk cohort of patients (PARTNER [Placement of Aortic Transcatheter Valves] 3 trial), the rates of death from any cause, stroke, or rehospitalization were 8.5% for patients receiving TAVI and 15.1% for patients undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement. Decision-making regarding therapy choice should be based on individual anatomy (including the number of leaflets, annular size, and peripheral arterial anatomy), comorbidities (including concomitant coronary artery disease and aortopathies), and patient preference guide. A mitral transcatheter edge-to-edge repair device is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for high-risk patients with degenerative and functional mitral regurgitation that has excellent safety and efficacy in these populations. In the COAPT (Cardiovascular Outcomes Assessment of the MitraClip Percutaneous Therapy for Heart Failure Patients with Functional Mitral Regurgitation) trial, the annualized rate of all hospitalizations for heart failure was 35.8% among patients who underwent transcatheter edge-to-edge repair and received medical therapy compared with 67.9% among patients in the medical therapy alone group. Transcatheter tricuspid valve repair and replacement trials are ongoing and show promise for the treatment of patients with tricuspid regurgitation, which previously had limited therapeutic options. Multimodality imaging, which includes transthoracic echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography, computed tomography, and intracardiac echocardiography, is important for preprocedural planning, device selection, and optimal outcomes.

Conclusions and Relevance  Approximately 78 000 TAVI procedures and 10 000 transcatheter mitral valve repairs take place yearly in the US to treat patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation, respectively. Transcatheter valve therapies have expanded therapeutic options for patients, including for those who previously had no viable surgical options.