There were gaps between guidelines and practice when surgery was the only treatment for aortic stenosis (AS).
This study analyzed the decision to intervene in patients with severe AS in the EORP VHD (EURObservational Research Programme Valvular Heart Disease) II survey.
Among 2,152 patients with severe AS, 1,271 patients with high-gradient AS who were symptomatic fulfilled a Class I recommendation for intervention according to the 2012 European Society of Cardiology guidelines; the primary end point was the decision for intervention.
A decision not to intervene was taken in 262 patients (20.6%). In multivariate analysis, the decision not to intervene was associated with older age (odds ratio [OR]: 1.34 per 10-year increase; 95% CI: 1.11 to 1.61; P = 0.002), New York Heart Association functional classes I and II versus III (OR: 1.63; 95% CI: 1.16 to 2.30; P = 0.005), higher age-adjusted Charlson comorbidity index (OR: 1.09 per 1-point increase; 95% CI: 1.01 to 1.17; P = 0.03), and a lower transaortic mean gradient (OR: 0.81 per 10–mm Hg decrease; 95% CI: 0.71 to 0.92; P < 0.001). During the study period, 346 patients (40.2%, median age 84 years, median EuroSCORE II [European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation II] 3.1%) underwent transcatheter intervention and 515 (59.8%, median age 69 years, median EuroSCORE II 1.5%) underwent surgery. A decision not to intervene versus intervention was associated with lower 6-month survival (87.4%; 95% CI: 82.0 to 91.3 vs 94.6%; 95% CI: 92.8 to 95.9; P < 0.001).
A decision not to intervene was taken in 1 in 5 patients with severe symptomatic AS despite a Class I recommendation for intervention and the decision was particularly associated with older age and combined comorbidities. Transcatheter intervention was extensively used in octogenarians.