Publication : Association of aortic valve leaflet calcification on hemodynamic and clinical outcomes
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Background: The prognostic value of aortic valve calcification (AVC) measured by using multidetector computed tomography imaging has been well validated in native aortic stenosis, and sex-specific thresholds have been proposed. However, few data are available regarding the impact of leaflet calcification on outcomes after biological aortic valve replacement (AVR).
Objectives: The goal of this study was to analyze the association of quantitative bioprosthetic leaflet AVC with hemodynamic and clinical outcomes, as well as its possible interaction with sex.
Methods: From 2008 to 2010, a total of 204 patients were prospectively enrolled with a median of 7.0 years (interquartile range: 5.1 to 9.2 years) after biological surgical AVR. AVC measured by using the Agatston method was indexed to the cross-sectional area of aortic annulus measured by echocardiography to calculate the AVC density (AVCd). Presence of hemodynamic valve deterioration (HVD; increase in mean gradient [MG] ≥10 mm Hg and/or increase in transprosthetic regurgitation ≥1) was assessed by echocardiography in 137 patients at the 3-year follow-up. The primary clinical endpoint was mortality or aortic valve re-intervention.
Results: There was no significant sex-related difference in the relationship between bioprosthetic AVCd and the progression of MG. Baseline AVCd showed an independent association with HVD at 3 years. During follow-up, there were 134 (65.7%) deaths (n = 100) or valve re-interventions (n = 47). AVCd ≥58 AU/cm2 was independently associated with an increased risk of mortality or aortic valve re-intervention (adjusted hazard ratio: 2.23; 95% confidence interval: 1.44 to 3.35; p < 0.001). The AVCd threshold combined with an MG progression threshold of 10 mm Hg amplified the stratification of patients at risk (log-rank, p < 0.001). The addition of AVCd threshold into the prediction model including traditional risk factors improved outcome prediction (net classification improvement: 0.25, p = 0.04; likelihood ratio test, p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Aortic bioprosthetic leaflet calcification is strongly and independently associated with HVD and the risk of death or aortic valve re-intervention. As opposed to native aortic stenosis, there is no sex-related differences in the relationship between AVCd and hemodynamic or clinical outcomes.