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J Interv Cardiol. 2010 Aug;23(4):358-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8183.2010.00559.x. Epub 2010 May 25.

Aortic balloon valvuloplasty: is there still a role in high-risk patients in the era of percutaneous aortic valve replacement?

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Manchester Heart Centre, Manchester Royal Infirmary, University of Central Manchester, Foundation NHS Trust, United Kingdom.



To assess procedural and clinical outcomes in adults with severe aortic stenosis (AS) undergoing percutaneous aortic balloon valvuloplasty (PABV), who are considered unsuitable on initial assessment for surgical aortic valve replacement or transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).


Surgical valve replacement provides better outcomes than conservative treatment for patients with severe symptomatic AS; however, patients with multiple comorbidities or hemodynamic instability carry a high operative risk. While TAVI offers an alternative to surgery, not all patients are suitable. This study looks at medium-term outcomes in a series of high-risk patients undergoing PABV.


Pre- and postprocedure aortic valve gradients were measured by catheterization and echocardiography. Patients were assessed for symptomatic benefit and clinical outcomes.


Over 4 years, 42 patients underwent PABV. Mean clinical follow-up was 8 +/- 5.8 months and survival was 63%. Mean echocardiographic aortic valve gradient fell from 84.6 +/- 27 mmHg to 51.3 +/- 16 mmHg (p < 0.05). In 29% (12/42) patients, PABV was performed as a bridge to definitive AVR. Four had surgical AVR and six had TAVI. Two had successful noncardiac surgery. Four patients died in the periprocedural period and all were in cardiogenic shock. Patients were in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class IV decreased from 60% to 5% postprocedure (p < 0.05).


PABV is useful as a palliation or bridge to definitive therapy for treatment of patients with severe AS unsuitable for surgery. It is associated with good medium-term cardiac outcomes and enables some patients to receive definitive therapy.

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