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J Invasive Cardiol. 2014 Oct;26(10):528-33.

Decrease of vascular and bleeding complications after balloon aortic valvuloplasty performed without heparin.

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Department of Cardiology, Arnaud de Villeneuve University Hospital, 295 avenue du doyen Giraud, 34295 Montpellier cedex 5, France.



To determine whether vascular and bleeding complications may be reduced with balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) performed without heparin.


Vascular and bleeding complications are currently the main adverse events occurring after BAV.


This registry included 162 consecutive patients with severe aortic stenosis who underwent BAV by femoral approach in our center between 2008 and 2012. Eighty-five patients had unfractionated heparin (UH) 50 IU/kg bolus IV during the procedure, whereas 77 patients did not have heparin. Our primary combined endpoint included severe vascular or bleeding complications (BARC score ≥3), severe ischemic events (acute limb ischemia or systemic embolism) or death at 1-month follow-up.


The primary composite endpoint was achieved in 25 patients overall (15.4%) and was significantly lower in the heparin-free group (10.3% vs 20.0%; P=.03). Vascular, bleeding, or ischemic events were dramatically lower in the heparin-free group (6.5%) compared with the heparin group (18.8%; P=.01). UH use was associated with an increased risk of vascular and bleeding complications (relative risk, 2.92; 95% confidence interval, 1.35-7.94), but not with a decreased risk of ischemic events (relative risk, 1.81, 95% confidence interval, 0.34-9.61). After adjustment for patient and procedure characteristics, including the sheath size, heparin use was the only significant predictor of the primary endpoint (adjusted odds ratio, 2.94; 95% confidence interval, 1.75-14.74).


BAV performed without heparin is associated with a reduction of severe vascular events or death without increased ischemic risk. This marked difference is difficult to explain by confounding factors, but should be confirmed in a randomized controlled trial.

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