OBJECTIVES: This study assesses if there exists a high-risk period for cerebrovascular events (CeV) after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI).Â Even though acute strokes after TAVI have been described, it is uncertain if stroke rates continue to remain high in the early months after TAVI. Furthermore, the optimal dose and duration of thromboprophylaxis is unclear.
METHODS: Patients who underwent TAVI were evaluated at baseline, at discharge, at 1 and 6 months, and yearly. Risk factors for CeV events, procedural details, and antithrombotic therapy were recorded. Outcomes assessed were CeV events and death. The timing of such events, predictors, and impact on survival were analyzed.
RESULTS: A total of 253 patients were assessed. Median age was 85 years. The median Society of Thoracic Surgeons score was 8.1% (interquartile range [IQR]: 5.5% to 12.0%). Risk factors included smoking (47%), hypertension (70%), dyslipidemia (66%), and diabetes mellitus (25%). Twenty-three percent had known cerebrovascular disease and 39% had atrial fibrillation. Median follow-up was 455 days (IQR: 160 to 912 days) at which time 23 patients experienced a CeV event. The incidence was highest in the first 24 h but remained high for 2 months. In-hospital mortality rate after a CeV event was 21%. A prior history of CeV disease was an independent predictor of an event (hazard ratio: 4.23, 95% CI: 1.60 to 11.11, p = 0.004).
CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of CeV events is highest within 24 h of TAVI, but this risk may remain elevated for up to 2 months. A prior history of cerebrovascular disease is an independent predictor. This may have implications for patient selection and antithrombotic strategies.