Left ventricular global systolic longitudinal deformation and prognosis 1 year after femoral and apical transcatheter aortic valve implantation

Brian Bridal Løgstrup, Henning R Andersen, Leif Thuesen, Evald H Christiansen, Kim Terp, Kaj-Erik Klaaborg, Steen H Poulsen
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 2013, 26 (3): 246-54

BACKGROUND: Aortic valve replacement is the recommended therapy for patients with severe aortic stenosis who have symptoms or decreased left ventricular (LV) function. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is a treatment alternative in surgically high-risk or inoperable patients with severe aortic stenosis. The objective of this study was to analyze LV function assessed by global LV longitudinal systolic strain (GLS) and relation to prognosis in patients with severe aortic stenosis treated with femoral or apical TAVI.

METHODS: Two-dimensional echocardiography was performed before and 1 year after TAVI. Ejection fraction (EF) was retrospectively measured using the biplane Simpson's method, and GLS was obtained as an average of 16 segments in the three standard apical views by speckle-tracking. GE Vivid 7 and Vivid 9 machines were used for echocardiography, and speckle-tracking analysis was performed using EchoPAC PC '08 version 7.0.1.

RESULTS: The total population consisted of 100 TAVI patients. Eighty-one patients survived to 1-year follow-up, with a mean age of 81 ± 7 years (range, 64-93 years) and a mean European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation score of 9.6 ± 2.7. Nineteen patients died before 1-year follow-up (12 women), with a mean age of 82 ± 7 years (range, 66-92 years) and a mean European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation score of 10.5 ± 2.8. No differences were found between the 19 patients who died before follow-up and the 81 patients who survived to 1-year follow-up. GLS was increased significantly 1 year after TAVI. In 34 patients with EFs > 50%, GLS increased from -15.3 ± 3.4 to -17.1 ± 3.6 (P = .04). In these patients, the mean EF increased numerically from 57.9 ± 5.3% to 60 ± 7.7% (P = .19). In 74 patients with EFs ≤ 50%, mean GLS and EF improved significantly from -10 ± 2.8 to -13.8 ± 3.8 (P < .0001) and 39 ± 9.4% to 52 ± 12.5% (P < .0001), respectively. The 1-year gain in EF was the same after femoral TAVI (9.7 ± 10.1%) and after apical TAVI (8 ± 10.8%) (P = .52). Furthermore, GLS did not differ significantly after femoral and apical TAVI (-3.8 ± 3.3 and -2.6 ± 3.7, respectively, P = .21). There was no difference in causes of death according to approach. In the total population (n = 100), 35 deaths occurred, 19 before 1-year follow-up and 16 afterward. The median follow-up time was 30 months. Twenty-five patients (71%) died from cardiac causes. Overall 1-year mortality was 19%, and overall 2-year mortality was 28%. In the patients who died, the median survival time in the apical group was 28.5 ± 15.4 months, compared with 31.6 ± 19 months in the femoral group (P = .47). There was no impact on prognosis according to high (≥47.5%) versus low (<47.5%) baseline EF or high (≥11.95%) versus low (<11.95%) baseline GLS. However, the magnitude of changes in GLS seemed to have a prognostic impact.

CONCLUSIONS: LV EF and longitudinal systolic deformation were improved in TAVI independent of technical approach using the Edwards SAPIEN valve prosthesis during 1-year follow-up. The mortality rate was comparable between technical approaches and independent of baseline LV function. However, patients with the greatest improvement in LV systolic longitudinal deformation after TAVI had a lower mortality rate.

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