Computed Tomography for Planning Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement

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Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is rapidly becoming a widely used alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in patients with severe aortic stenosis at high surgical risk. In these patients, TAVR has been associated with markedly improved survival and relief from symptoms. Despite a very–high risk patient profile, recent multicenter registries have confirmed the safety and efficacy of this procedure. Moreover, the randomized, controlled PARTNER (Placement of AoRTic TraNscathetER Valves) trial has confirmed both the superiority of TAVR over medical treatment in patients not considered to be candidates for standard SAVR and the noninferiority of TAVR compared with SAVR in high-risk patients. The TAVR procedure requires a comprehensive preinterventional diagnostic workup. Above all, detailed information on the anatomy of the aortic annulus (AA) and the relation of the AA to the coronary arteries is essential to avoid complications. So far, no imaging reference standard for AA sizing has been established. Echocardiography, catheter angiography, and computed tomography angiography are widely and often complementarily used imaging techniques for this purpose. Compared with 2-dimensional imaging techniques, computed tomography (CT) has been proven to provide comprehensive information on AA anatomy and geometry, supporting appropriate patient selection and prosthesis sizing. In addition, CT is gaining an increasing role in evaluating the vascular access route before the procedure. This article describes the rapidly emerging role of CT in the context of pre-TAVR assessment.

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