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The ‘wait for symptoms’ strategy in asymptomatic severe aortic stenosis

Abstract

Calcific aortic stenosis is a prevalent and worrisome healthcare problem. The therapeutic approach in asymptomatic aortic stenosis is not well established. We argue that the natural history of this disease is based on old incomplete studies with many limitations. Likewise, studies suggesting that replacement, either surgical or percutaneous, improves prognosis in asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis have important drawbacks and do not support this strategy as the treatment of choice. Despite the lack of evidence, some groups recommend early valve replacement in patients with severe asymptomatic aortic stenosis. There are five ongoing randomised trials which will shed light on this topic. Our conclusion is that unless a randomised study changes the evidence, valve replacement cannot be recommended in asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis.

  • valve disease surgery
  • aortic stenosis

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