OBJECTIVES: Our aim was to describe the use of balloon aortic valvuloplasty (BAV) to select proper transcatheter heart valve (THV) size. Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE) measurement alone of the aortic annulus may not be adequate to select a THV size. BAV can more accurately size the aortic annulus. We report our experience using this strategy in patients undergoing THV implantation.
METHODS: Twenty-seven patients underwent sizing of the aortic annulus by BAV and TEE. We implanted the minimal THV size that was greater than the annulus measured by BAV.
RESULTS: The annulus measured by TEE was 21.3 ± 1.6 mm and by BAV was 22.6 ± 1.8 mm (p < 0.001). The number of balloon inflations was 2.7 ± 0.7 (range 2 to 4), and the balloon sizes used were 22.0 ± 1.8 mm (range 20 to 25 mm). Fourteen patients (52%) required upsizing of the initial balloon suggested by TEE; rapid pacing duration was 8 ± 1.3 s (range 6 to 11 s). No change in aortic insufficiency or hemodynamic instability occurred with BAV. Fifteen patients (56%) received a 23-mm THV; 12 patients a 26-mm THV. No coronary occlusion, annular damage, or THV embolization occurred. Paravalvular leak was grade 1 in all patients. In 7 patients (26%), balloon sizing resulted in selection of a specific THV size that could not be done by TEE alone.
CONCLUSIONS: BAV sizing of the aortic annulus is safe and is an important adjunct to TEE when selecting THV size. Implanting the minimal THV greater than the BAV annulus size resulted in no adverse events. These data suggest that use of BAV for THV selection may improve the safety and efficacy of THV implantation
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