Outcomes, readmissions, and costs in transfemoral and alterative access transcatheter aortic valve replacement in the US Medicare population

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To comprehensively evaluate and compare utilization, outcomes, and especially costs of transfemoral (TF), transapical (TA), and transaortic (TAO) transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR).


All Medicare fee-for-service patients undergoing TF (n = 4065), TA (n = 691), or TAO (n = 274) TAVR between January 1, 2011, and November 30, 2012, were identified using Health Care Procedure Classification Codes present on Medicare claims. Hospital charges from Medicare claims were converted to costs using hospital-specific Medicare cost-to-charge ratios.


TA and TAO patients were similar in age, race, and common comorbidities. Compared with TF patients, TA and TAO patients were more likely to be female and to have peripheral vascular disease, chronic lung disease, and renal failure. Thirty-day mortality rates were higher among TA and TAO patients than among TF patients (TA, 9.6%; TAO, 8.0%; TF, 5.0%; P < .001). Adjusted mortality beyond 1 year did not differ by access. TA patients were more likely to require cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). Increased adjusted mortality was associated with CPB (hazard ratio, 2.13; P < .01) and increased 30-day cost ($62,000 [interquartile range (IQR)], $45,100-$86,400 versus $48,800 [IQR, $38,100-$62,900]; P < .01). Cost at 30 days was lowest for TF ($48,600) compared with TA ($49,800; P < .01) and TAO ($53,200; P = .03).


For patients ineligible to receive TF TAVR, TAO and TA approaches offer similar clinical outcomes at similar cost with acceptable operative and 1-year survival, except for higher rates of CPB use in TA patients. CPB was associated with worse survival and increased costs.

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