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EuroIntervention. 2014 Oct;10(6):732-8. doi: 10.4244/EIJV10I6A126.

Extent and distribution of calcification of both the aortic annulus and the left ventricular outflow tract predict aortic regurgitation after transcatheter aortic valve replacement.

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Department of Cardiology, Swiss Cardiovascular Center, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland.


We sought to analyse local distribution of aortic annulus and left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) calcification in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) and its impact on aortic regurgitation (AR) immediately after device placement. A group of 177 patients with severe aortic stenosis undergoing multislice computed tomography of the aortic root followed by TAVR were enrolled in this single-centre study. Annular and LVOT calcifications were assessed per cusp using a semi-quantitative grading system (0: none; 1 [mild]: small, non-protruding calcifications; 2 [moderate]: protruding [>1 mm] or extensive [>50% of cusp sector] calcifications; 3 [severe]: protruding and extensive calcifications). Any calcification of the annulus or LVOT was present in 107 (61%) and 63 (36%) patients, respectively. Prevalence of annulus/LVOT calcifications in the left coronary cusp was 42% and 25%, respectively, in the non-coronary cusp 28% and 13%, in the right coronary cusp 13% and 5%. AR grade 2 to 4 assessed by the method of Sellers immediately after TAVR device implantation was observed in 55 patients (31%). Multivariate regression analysis revealed that the overall annulus calcification (OR [95% CI] 1.48 [1.10-2.00]; p=0.0106), the overall LVOT calcification (1.93 [1.26-2.96]; p=0.0026), any moderate or severe LVOT calcification (5.37 [1.52-18.99]; p=0.0092), and asymmetric LVOT calcification were independent predictors of AR. Calcifications of the aortic annulus and LVOT are frequent in patients undergoing TAVR, and both the distribution and the severity of calcifications appear to be independent predictors of aortic regurgitation after device implantation.

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