Feasibility and technicality of aortic valve lithotripsy-facilitate balloon valvuloplasty in patients with severe aortic stenosis unsuitable for immediate valvular replacement

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Cardiovasc Revasc Med


BACKGROUND: Aortic valve lithotripsy can fragment aortic valve calcium deposits and potentially restore leaflet pliability in animal model and ex-vivo, but clinical data is limited. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVR) might not be feasible as an urgent procedure in critically ill patients. Balloon valvuloplasty has the major limitation of valve recoil and inducing aortic regurgitation.

AIMS: To determine the clinical feasibility of aortic valve lithotripsy-facilitated balloon valvuloplasty in patients with severe aortic stenosis unsuitable for valvular replacement.

METHODS: We performed lithotripsy as adjunctive therapy to balloon aortic valvuloplasty in ten consecutive patients, most of whom were deemed unfit for TAVR. Lithotripsy of the aortic valve was performed with simultaneous inflation of one to three peripheral lithotripsy balloons to deliver ultrasound pulses. Rapid pacing was not used during lithotripsy. Aortic valve velocity, gradient, and valve area were measured before and after the procedure by echocardiogram. Transvalvular pressure gradient was recorded intra-procedurally. Periprocedural and ninety-day clinical outcomes were followed.

RESULTS: Procedure was technically successful in 9 out of 10 patients and aborted in one patient due to cardiogenic shock. One patient had femoral closure device related complication. There was a statistically significant decrease in valvular gradient and increase in aortic valve area. 9 out of 10 patients recovered from acute episode and were discharged. 6 patients had improvement in NYHA class. 4 patients were subsequently able to receive TAVR. 90-day mortality occurred in 3 patients. There was no stroke or bradyarrhythmia peri-procedurally and no heart failure hospitalization at 90 days.

CONCLUSION: Aortic valve lithotripsy-facilitated balloon valvuloplasty has reasonable feasibility, safety and technical reproducibility and acute clinical result. Hemodynamic effect is similar to that of balloon valvuloplasty reported in the literature. Subsequent Prognosis is not altered in critically ill patients.

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ePub ahead of print