Conference Coverage

UK TAVI: Similar outcomes to surgery in real world


Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) was not inferior to conventional surgery with respect to death from any cause at 1 year in a new real-world study in patients age 70 years or older with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis at increased operative risk due to age or comorbidity.

The UK TAVI study was presented March 29 at the “virtual” American College of Cardiology 2020 Scientific Session (ACC.20)/World Congress of Cardiology (WCC).

The trial involved a broad group of patients who were treated at every medical center that performs the transcatheter procedure across the United Kingdom.

“The importance of this trial is that it confirms the effectiveness of the TAVR strategy in a real-world setting,” said lead author, William D. Toff, MD, professor of cardiology at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Previous clinical trials have found TAVR to be noninferior or superior to open-heart surgery for various patient groups, but most trials have been limited to medical centers that perform a high volume of procedures or focus on the use of specific types of replacement valves, he noted.

“Our results are concordant with those from earlier trials in intermediate- and low-risk patients, but those earlier trials were performed in the best centers and had many exclusion criteria. We have replicated those results in populations more representative of the real world.”

“I think it is a very important message that supports the findings in earlier trials that were focused on showing whether TAVR can work under ideal conditions, while our trial shows that it does work in real-world clinical practice,” he added.

The UK TAVI trial enrolled 913 patients referred for treatment of severe aortic stenosis at 34 UK sites from 2014 to 2018. They were randomly assigned to receive TAVR or open-heart surgery.

Enrollment was limited to participants age 70 years or older (with additional risk factors) or age 80 years or older (with or without additional risk factors). The average age was 81 years.

Overall, participants were at intermediate to low risk from surgery, with a median Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) risk score of 2.6%. However, researchers did not specify a particular risk score cutoff for enrollment.

“This allowed the trial to evolve along with changes in guidelines and practice regarding TAVR over the course of the study and to reflect physicians’ nuanced, real-world approach to considering risk in decision-making rather than taking a formulaic approach,” Toff said.

At 1 year, the rate of death from any cause (the primary endpoint) was 4.6% in the TAVR group and 6.6% in the surgery group, a difference that met the trial’s prespecified threshold for noninferiority of TAVR.

Rates of death from cardiovascular disease or stroke were also similar between the two groups.

Patients who received TAVR had a significantly higher rate of vascular complications (4.8%) than those receiving surgery (1.3%).

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