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A Journal on Internal Medicine

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Minerva Medica 2014 December;105(6):497-500

language: English

The SAPIEN 3 valve: lights and shadows

Facchin M., Mojoli M., Covolo E., Tarantini G.

Department of Cardiac, Thoracic and Vascular Sciences, University of Padua Medical School, Padua, Italy


Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has become an accepted alternative treatment option for high-risk or inoperable patients with symptomatic severe aortic stenosis. The future challenge for TAVI devices is to ensure results in terms of safety and efficacy that may justify an eligibility extension for this procedure to patients at intermediate and low risk for surgery. The ideal aortic valve prosthesis should be durable, with optimal hemodynamic performance and able to reduce the current major complications of TAVI procedure, in particular vascular complications (not infrequent with the transfemoral access route), paravalvular leaks, stroke and atrioventricular block requiring a permanent pacemaker. The SAPIEN 3™ (S3) (Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA, USA) is the last Edwards family’s transcatheter heart valves and incorporates a number of new and enhanced features intended to reduce the risk of vascular injury and paravalvular regurgitation, and to facilitate rapid and accurate positioning and implantation. The first data on S3 (SAPIEN3 trial) were presented at the EuroPCR 2014 and confirmed the advantage of the S3 compared with the previous Edwards valves (SAPIEN and SAPIEN XT) in terms of prevention of vascular complications and of moderate-severe paravalvular leaks, but showed an increase in the need of a permanent pacemaker post-TAVR. The S3 is certainly a promising evolution of transcatheter valves which may effectively reduce the risk of vascular complications and paravalvular leak. However, the S3 seems to be related to an increased risk of atrioventricular block, even if this complication could be due to the need to implant the valve in a higher position compared to previous models.

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