OBJECTIVES: Updated European guidelines recommend annual echocardiographic evaluation after bioprosthetic surgical aortic valve replacement (bio-SAVR). Given the increased demand on health care resources, only clinically relevant controls can be prioritized. We therefore aimed to explore reintervention rates following bio-SAVR.
METHODS: From the nationwide Danish Register of Surgical Procedures, we identified all patients ≥40 years with isolated bio-SAVR ± concomitant coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) during 2000-2016. In 90-day reintervention-free survivors, we assessed aortic valve reintervention rates (primary outcome) and all-cause mortality rates (secondary outcome) at 1, 3 and 5 years with total follow-up until 31 December 2017 and further estimated annual theoretical echocardiographic control visits.
RESULTS: In 10 518 patients with bio-SAVR (+CABG 39.7%), we observed low reintervention rates at 1, 3 and 5 years, but with high rates of all-cause mortality; i.e. 5-year reintervention rate of 3.7/1000 person-years (≤1.5%) and 5-year mortality rate of 21.7/1000 person-years. Accounting for the competing risk of death, 5-year rates were inversely related to age group and remained relatively low across all age categories but increased gradually in the long term. A significant proportion of reinterventions were presumed due to infectious endocarditis (48% at 3 years, 37% at 5 years). With annual transthoracic echocardiography, the theoretical ratio of echocardiographies per reintervention in the first 5 years was 248, and 425 when endocarditis events were excluded.
CONCLUSION: Reintervention rates within the first 5 years following bio-SAVR were relatively rare, and with a substantial number due to endocarditis.