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Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2014 Jan;18(1):67-72. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivt432. Epub 2013 Oct 8.

Evaluation of calcium loss after transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

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Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.



Aortic valve calcification and changes after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) were specifically assessed by computed tomography (CT). The main difference between TAVI and the conventional technique is the compression of the cusps of the calcified native valve against the aortic wall before implantation. The objective of this study was to quantify the segmented calcification in the area of the basal annular plane before and after TAVI.


The CT scans of 20 patients (13 male and 7 female; mean age: 82.9 ± 8.1 years) were assessed. The aortic valve calcification was segmented; derived from this segmentation volume, mass and Hounsfield units (HU)/density of the calcifications on the annulus and cusps before and after TAVI were evaluated. Pre- and postoperative data were compared regarding potential calcification loss and calcification distances to the left and right coronary ostia.


Significantly lower postprocedural mean volumes and masses for all cusps (P < 0.001) were found. The mean differences in the volume for the non-coronary, right-coronary and left-coronary cusp were -156.8 ± 53.73, -155.5 ± 62.54 and -115 ± 57.53 mm(3), respectively, and differences in mass were -88.78 ± 29.48, -95.2 ± 39.27 and -71.56 ± 35.62 mg, respectively. Over all cusps, mean HU increased after intervention [784.41 ± 92.5 HU (pre) and 818.63 ± 78.71 HU (post); P < 0.004]. In 80.03% of all cusps, calcification loss was found; all patients were affected. Significantly lower (P < 0.047) postprocedural mean distances were found from the left and right coronary ostia to the next calcification point.


Our results show a significant loss of calcification in all patients after TAVI, with a reduction in the calcification distances to the coronary ostia and the compression of calcification in the area of the device landing zone. The clinical implications of this finding need to be investigated further.


Aortic root; Aortic valve repair; Aortic valve replacement; Valve calcification

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