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Mixed aortic stenosis and regurgitation: a clinical conundrum


Mixed aortic stenosis (AS) and aortic regurgitation (AR) is the most frequent concomitant valve disease worldwide and represents a heterogeneous population ranging from mild AS with severe AR to mild AR with severe AS. About 6.8% of patients with at least moderate AS will also have moderate or greater AR, and 17.9% of patients with at least moderate AR will suffer from moderate or greater AS. Interest in mixed AS/AR has increased, with studies demonstrating that patients with moderate mixed AS/AR have similar outcomes to those with isolated severe AS. The diagnosis and quantification of mixed AS/AR severity are predominantly echocardiography-based, but the combined lesions lead to significant limitations in the assessment. Aortic valve peak velocity is the best parameter to evaluate the combined haemodynamic impact of both lesions, with a peak velocity greater than 4.0 m/s suggesting severe mixed AS/AR. Moreover, symptoms, increased left ventricular wall thickness and filling pressures, and abnormal left ventricular global longitudinal strain likely identify high-risk patients who may benefit from closer follow-up. Although guidelines recommend interventions based on the predominant lesion, some patients could potentially benefit from earlier intervention. Once a patient is deemed to require intervention, for patients receiving transcatheter valves, the presence of mixed AS/AR could confer benefit to those at high risk of paravalvular leak. Overall, the current approach of managing patients based on the dominant lesion might be too reductionist and a more holistic approach including biomarkers and multimodality imaging cardiac remodelling and inflammation data might be more appropriate.

  • aortic valve insufficiency
  • aortic valve stenosis
  • heart, artificial
  • outcome assessment, health care
  • diagnostic imaging

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