Objective Current guidelines define severe aortic stenosis (AS) as an aortic valve area (AVA)≤1.0 cm2, but some authors have suggested that the AVA cut-off be decreased to 0.8 cm2. The aim of this study was, therefore, to better describe the clinical features and prognosis of patients with an AVA of 0.8–0.99 cm2.
Methods Patients with isolated, severe AS and ejection fraction ≥55% with an AVA of 0.8–0.99 cm2 (n=105) were compared with those with an AVA<0.8 cm2 (n=155) and 1.0–1.3 cm2 (n=81). The endpoint of this study was a combination of death from any cause or aortic valve replacement at or before 3 years.
Results Patients with an AVA of 0.8–0.99 cm2 group comprised predominantly normal-flow, low-gradient (NFLG) AS, while high gradients and low flow were more often observed with an AVA<0.8 cm2. The frequency of symptoms was not significantly different between an AVA of 0.8–0.99 cm2 and 1.0–1.3 cm2. The combined endpoint was achieved in 71%, 52% and 21% of patients with an AVA of 0.8 cm2, 0.8–0.99 cm2and 1.0–1.3 cm2, respectively (p<0.001). Among patients with an AVA of 0.8–0.99 cm2, NFLG AS was associated with a lower hazard (HR=0.40, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.68, p=0.001) of achieving the combined endpoint with outcomes similar to moderate AS in the first 1.5 years of follow-up. Patients with high-gradient or low-flow AS with an AVA of 0.8–0.99 cm2 had outcomes similar to those with an AVA<0.8 cm2. The sensitivity for the combined endpoint was 61% for an AVA cut-off of 0.8 cm2 and 91% for a cut-off of 1.0 cm2.
Conclusions The outcomes of patients with AS with an AVA of 0.8–0.99 cm2 are variable and are more precisely defined by flow-gradient status. Our findings support the current AVA cut-off of 1.0 cm2.
- aortic stenosis
- valve disease surgery
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Contributors PM was involved in design of the study, obtaining IRB approval, data collection and analysis, drafting of the manuscript, revision of the manuscript and submission of the manuscript. KJ was involved with design of the study, obtaining IRB approval, data collection and analysis, and drafting of the manuscript. TCT and AF were involved with data collection and analysis, drafting of the manuscript and revision of the manuscript. JWH was involved with design of the study, data analysis, drafting of the manuscript and revision of the manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Ethics approval was obtained from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institutional Review Board prior to initiation of the study.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement The majority of the data are published in this manuscript. Data can be shared upon request of the corresponding author.