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Int J Cardiol. 2013 Sep 1;167(5):1945-52. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2012.05.028. Epub 2012 May 26.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation versus surgical aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis: results from an intermediate risk propensity-matched population of the Italian OBSERVANT study.

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National Centre for Epidemiology, Surveillance and Health Promotion, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.



Few studies have yielded information on comparative effectiveness of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) versus surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) procedures in a real-world setting. The aim of this analysis is to describe procedural and post-procedural outcomes in a TAVI/SAVR intermediate risk propensity-matched population.


OBSERVANT is an observational prospective multicenter cohort study, enrolling AS patients undergoing SAVR or TAVI. Propensity score method was applied to analyze procedural and post-procedural outcomes. Pairs of patients with the same probability score were matched (caliper matching).


The unadjusted enrolled population (N=2108) comprises 1383 SAVR patients, 602 transarterial-TAVI patients and 123 transapical-TAVI patients. Matched population comprised a total of 266 patients (133 patients for each group). A relatively low risk population was selected (mean logistic EuroSCORE 9.4 ± 10.4% vs 8.9 ± 9.5%, SAVR vs TAVI; p=0.650). Thirty-day mortality was 3.8% for both SAVR and TAVI (p=1.000). The incidence of stroke (1.5% SAVR and 0.0% TAVI; p=0.156) and myocardial infarction (0.8% SAVR and 0.8% TAVI; p=1.000) was not statistically different between groups, whereas a higher requirement for blood transfusion was reported across the surgical cohort (49.6% vs 36.1%; p=0.026). A higher incidence of major vascular damage (5.3% vs. 0.0%; p=0.007) and pacemaker implantation(0.8% vs 12.0%; p=0.001) were reported in the TAVI group.


Patients undergoing transcatheter and surgical treatment of severe aortic stenosis are still extremely distinct populations. In the relatively low-risk propensity-matched population analyzed, despite similar procedural and 30-day mortality, SAVR was associated with a higher risk for blood transfusion, whereas TAVI showed a significantly increased rate of vascular damage, permanent AV block and residual aortic valve regurgitation.


Aortic stenosis; Intermediate risk; SAVR; TAVI

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