J Am Coll Cardiol. 2021 Jun 8;77(22):2796-2803. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2021.04.014.
BACKGROUND: The study investigators previously reported that moderate aortic stenosis (AS) is associated with a poor prognosis in patients with heart failure (HF) with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (HFrEF). However, the respective contribution of moderate AS versus HFrEF to the outcomes of these patients is unknown.
OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine the impact of moderate AS on outcomes in patients with HFrEF.
METHODS: The study included 262 patients with moderate AS (aortic valve area >1.0 and <1.5 cm2; and peak aortic jet velocity >2 and <4 m/s, at rest or after dobutamine stress echocardiography) and HFrEF (LVEF <50%). These patients were matched 1:1 for sex, age, estimated glomerular filtration rate, New York Heart Association functional class III to IV, presence of diabetes, LVEF, and body mass index with patients with HFrEF but no AS (i.e., peak aortic jet velocity <2 m/s). The endpoints were all-cause mortality and the composite of death and HF hospitalization.
RESULTS: A total of 262 patients with HFrEF and moderate AS were matched with 262 patients with HFrEF and no AS. Mean follow-up was 2.9 ± 2.2 years. In the moderate AS group, mean aortic valve area was 1.2 ± 0.2 cm2, and mean gradient was 14.5 ± 4.7 mm Hg. Moderate AS was associated with an increased risk of mortality (hazard ratio [HR]: 2.98; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.08 to 4.31; p < 0.0001) and of the composite of HF hospitalization and mortality (HR: 2.34; 95% CI: 1. 72 to 3.21; p < 0.0001). In the moderate AS group, aortic valve replacement (AVR) performed in 44 patients at a median follow-up time of 10.9 ± 16 months during follow-up was associated with improved survival (HR: 0.59; 95% CI: 0.35 to 0.98; p = 0.04). Notably, surgical AVR was not significantly associated with improved survival (p = 0.92), whereas transcatheter AVR was (HR: 0.43; 95% CI: 0.18 to 1.00; p = 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: In this series of patients with HFrEF, moderate AS was associated with a marked incremental risk of mortality. AVR, and especially transcatheter AVR during follow-up, was associated with improved survival in patients with HFrEF and moderate AS. These findings provide support to the realization of a randomized trial to assess the effect of early transcatheter AVR in patients with HFrEF and moderate AS.