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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2012 December;103(6):415-29

language: English

Evolution of percutaneous balloon aortic valvuloplasty in the treatment of patients with aortic stenosis

Pendyala L. K., Ben-Dor I., Waksman R.

Interventional Cardiology, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA


Symptomatic, severe aortic stenosis (AS) is associated with a dismal prognosis with conservative management only; the mortality rate is >50% at two years with medical treatment alone. In 1986, Cribier first introduced the percutaneous balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) concept in patients with acquired severe AS. The initial enthusiasm surrounding this technique, touted as an alternative to surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) in older patients with AS, waned with subsequent large registries, which showed failure of the procedure to alter the natural history of calcific AS and its associated procedural morbidity. For many years BAV has been used as palliative treatment for short-term symptom relief in elderly, non-surgical patients. The timely surge in transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) rejuvenated and resurrected the dormant field of BAV. By its use to predilate the stenosed valve for easier delivery of the prosthesis, valvuloplasty now plays an integral role in the majority of TAVR procedures. BAV is successfully used as a bridge to SAVR and TAVR with better outcomes and is used as a standalone treatment for symptom relief in high-risk patients and for temporary stabilization of hemodynamically unstable patients. BAV can be used as a selection tool to determine if the patient will benefit from valve replacement if they have other comorbidities, such as severe pulmonary hypertension, severe lung disease, very poor ejection fraction, or frailty.

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