European Society of Cardiology Council for Cardiology Practice worldwide survey of transcatheter aortic valve implantation beliefs and practices


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Abstract

BackgroundTranscatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) continues to gain popularity in the management of patients with severe aortic stenosis (SAS). Distribution of resources to maximise appropriate use remains a priority.Design & methodsTo determine the current perceptions and behaviours regarding SAS patient management, an 18-point multiple-choice questionnaire was distributed to European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Council for Cardiology Practice (CCP) e-journal and/or electronic newsletter subscribers. Respondents to all questions were considered. Sub-analyses based on respondent age, practice setting and geographical location were performed.ResultsOf 1245 full respondents, 41.5% were aged ≥ 51 years, 22.7% were aged 41–50 years and 35.8% were aged ≤ 40 years. The majority were located in Europe (77.5%), followed by Asia/Oceania (11.6%), America (7.6%) and Africa (3.4%). In-hospital and out-of-hospital cardiologists accounted for 57.4% of and 28.5% of the sample, respectively, with the remainder being general practitioners/other. The majority of respondents (70.1%) claimed to diagnose between one and five cases of SAS per month. Free access to TAVI was reported by 41.2%, being less common for those aged ≤ 40 years (32.7%; p < 0.001), those located in Asia/Oceania, America and Africa (20.1%, 18.1% and 2.4%, respectively; p < 0.01 in each case) and in-hospital compared to out-of-hospital cardiologists (35.7% vs. 54.5%, respectively; p < 0.001). The most common reason for not referring a patient for an aortic valve intervention was assessment that the patient was high risk/non-operable (55.5%), followed by short life expectancy (30.5%). The most common reason for referring a patient for TAVI over surgical replacement was surgical risk score (56.9%). The most commonly perceived main complication of TAVI was stroke (28.9%), while the most frequently selected main benefit was improvement in quality of life (37.2%). A high proportion (82.5%) of respondents believed that TAVI is/may become a viable option for lower-risk SAS patients in future.ConclusionThe population of potential TAVI is significant worldwide, with key barriers to referral being access limitations and poor physician education. Strategies to minimise these factors are paramount.

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