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Clin Cardiol. 2014 Dec;37(12):756-64. doi: 10.1002/clc.22328. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Stroke after transcatheter aortic valve replacement: incidence, risk factors, prognosis, and preventive strategies.

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The Zena and Michael A. Wiener Cardiovascular Institute, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.


The first transcatheter aortisc valve replacement (TAVR) was performed in 2002, and has been proven beneficial in inoperable and high-risk patients for open heart surgery. Stroke occurrence after TAVR, both periprocedure and at follow-up, has not been well described. We sought to review incidence, pathophysiology, predictors, prognosis, and current preventive strategies of cerebrovascular accidents (CVAs) after TAVR. Studies were selected from a Medline search if they contained clinical outcomes data after TAVR. Acute and subacute CVAs after TAVR have been reported in 3% to 6% of patients. Approximately 45% of CVAs occur within 2 days after TAVR; 28% between 3 and 10 days; 4% between 10 and 30 days; and 10.5% occur from 1 month to 2 years. Clinically silent cerebral embolisms have been reported, with an incidence greatly exceeding that of overt CVAs. Underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms for CVAs can be broadly categorized into embolic and nonembolic causes, as well as procedural and postprocedural (early and late). Important predictors of early CVAs are small aortic valve area, atrial fibrillation, and balloon postdilation, whereas late CVAs are mostly influenced by chronic atrial fibrillation, prior cerebrovascular disease, and transapical approach. Following stroke, patients exhibit increased morbidity and mortality. A multilevel approach for the prevention of CVAs includes improved interventional techniques, embolic protection devices, antithrombotic treatment, close monitoring, and aggressive management of modifiable risk factors. Technology advances notwithstanding stroke morbidity and mortality remains steady. The significance of silent cerebral embolism on prognosis remains uncertain, and optimal medical treatment during and after TAVR should be further investigated.

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