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Evolution of Veterans Affairs Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Program: The First 100 Patients.

BACKGROUND: Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a widely established alternative to surgery in intermediate- and high-risk patients. TAVR program development within the Veterans Affairs (VA) system has been previously described. However, national TAVR registries do not capture VA outcomes data, and few data have been reported regarding TAVR outcomes at lower-volume federal institutions. The study aim was to demonstrate the evolution of a successful VA TAVR program.

METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed of the first 100 TAVR patients at San Francisco VA Medical Center. Mortality and major complications were evaluated.

RESULTS: Between 25th November 2013 and 31st August 2016, a total of 100 TAVR procedures was performed at the authors' institution. The mean patient age was 79.7 ± 8.7 years. Patients underwent TAVR via percutaneous-transfemoral (n = 90), surgical cutdown-transfemoral (n = 8), or transapical (n = 2) approaches. The valve systems employed were Edwards SAPIEN (n = 16), SAPIEN XT (n = 31), SAPIEN 3 (n = 23), and Medtronic CoreValve (n = 16) and CoreValve Evolut R (n = 14). The overall device success was 96%. TAVR-in-TAVR was required in the remaining 4% of patients, and was successful. All-cause procedural mortality was 1%. Complications included tamponade (1%), stroke (2%), temporary hemodialysis (1%), vascular injuries requiring intervention (4%), and permanent pacemaker implantation (14%). There were no conversions to surgical aortic valve replacement. Twenty-two (22%) patients had mild, two (2%) had moderate, and none (0%) had severe paravalvular leakage. The post-procedure aortic valve gradient by echocardiography was 8.6 ± 4.5 mmHg. Follow up was 100% complete and survival was 99%, 93%, and 89% at one, six, and 12 months, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Successful outcomes were demonstrated for a VA TAVR program that compared favorably with benchmarks established by the National Transcatheter Valve Therapies Registry. These results provide a necessary transparency of TAVR outcomes at a federal institution.

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