Although surgical aortic valve replacement is the mainstay of treatment of aortic stenosis as it improves both symptoms and life expectancy, some patients may not be surgical candidates due to comorbidities, and minimally invasive treatment such as percutaneous aortic balloon valvotomy (PABV) maybe an alternative to surgery as a palliative strategy. PABV is a procedure in which 1 or more balloons are placed across a stenotic valve and inflated to decrease the severity of aortic stenosis. This is to be distinguished from transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) which is a different method that involves replacement of the valve percutaneously.
Surgical aortic valve replacement is the treatment of choice for aortic stenosis but many patients are not good candidates due to advanced age and multiple co-morbidities.
Percutaneous aortic valve replacement is in its infancy and thus aortic valvuloplasty can offer palliation of symptoms and potentially prolong survival for these high risk patients in class III-IV heart failure.
ACC/AHA guidelines concluded that percutaneous aortic balloon valvotomy (PABV) is not a substitute for aortic valve replacement in adults. In adults with severe calcific AS who are not good candidates for this procedure as there is high restenosis rate (more than 10% of cases) and high risk of complications. Clinical deterioration occur within 6 to 12 months in most patients, and that is why balloon valvotomy is not a substitute for aortic valve replacement surgery. The procedure can be used in children and young adults with congenital, noncalcific AS.
After preparing the patient, a guide wire is inserted through the femoral artery into the aorta (retrograde technique). 8 French femoral sheath can usually accommodate a 20 mm balloon and minimizes vascular complications. Alternatively two 6 Fr sheath from bilateral femoral approach and two smaller balloons can be used. The latter may be necessary in elderly female patients with concomitant peripheral vascular disease.
0.035” straight wire is commonly used to cross the valve and advance via pig-tail or Amplatz catheter; right heart catheterization is done and transaortic gradient is typically measured pre-procedure. The 0.035” wire is then exchanged for a stiffer 0.038” Amplatz exchange length wire with the tip shaped into a pig-tail shape so as not to injure the left ventricle.
A long sheath is introduced over the guide wire, through the sheath a Mansfield balloon is introduced and 20–23 mm X 6 cm balloon is advance over the wire and positioned to straddle the aortic valve.
The balloon is manually inflated with a 60 cc syringe containing diluted contrast (slowly). Meticulous control of balloon position must be maintained at all times by backward traction on the balloon to prevent jumping forward and injuring/perforating the left ventricular apex.
If there is difficulty in maintaining the balloon across the aortic valve during inflation, temporary ventricular pacing at high rate can reduce the cardiac output and give stability to the balloon.
Balloon is deflated and the transvalvular gradient reassessed for success of the procedure. Repeated dilatations can be given if necessary.
The balloon should be de-aired and filled with dilute contrast to avoid the chance of air embolism in case of balloon rupture during dilatation.
Immediately after the procedure a moderate reduction in the transvalvular pressure gradient is usually observed. The aortic valve area after the procedure rarely exceeds 1.0 cm2 but an early symptomatic improvement is usually observed.
Patient survival after repeat PABV is higher than that of untreated patients.
Vascular complications are most common thus suture (Perclose) or Angioseal closure after the procedure in this tenuous patient population is preferable.
It follows that attention to meticulous access technique is mandatory.
Antegrade approach ie venous access with transseptal approach can be done in select patients, however, hemodynamic effects of mitral valve incompetence as a stiff wire is placed across the mitral valve are often poorly tolerated; mitral valve injury has been reported in this approach.
2017 AHA/ACC Focused Update of the 2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease (VHD) 
Choice of Intervention
For patients in whom TAVR or high-risk surgical AVR is being considered, a heart valve team consisting of an integrated, multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals with expertise in VHD, cardiac imaging, interventional cardiology, cardiac anesthesia, and cardiac surgery should collaborate to provide optimal patient care.
2014 recommendation remains current.
Surgical AR is recommended for symptomatic patients with severe AS (Stage D) and asymptomatic patients with severe AS (Stage C) who meet an indication for AVR when surgical risk is low or intermediate.
MODIFIED: LOE updated from A to B-NR. Prior recommendations for intervention choice did not specify patient symptoms. The patient population recommended for surgical AVR encompasses both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients who meet an indication for AVR with low-to-intermediate surgical risk. This is opposed to the patient population recommended for TAVR, in whom symptoms are required to be present. Thus, all recommendations for type of intervention now specify the symptomatic status of the patient.
Surgical AVR or TAVR is recommended for symptomatic patients with severe AS (Stage D) and high risk for surgical AVR, depending on patient specific procedural risks, values, and preferences.
MODIFIED: COR updated from IIa to I, LOE updated from B to A. Longer-term follow-up and additional RCTs have demonstrated that TAVR is equivalent to surgical AVR for severe symptomatic AS when surgical risk is high.
TAVR is recommended for symptomatic patients with severe AS (Stage D) and a prohibitive risk for surgical AVR who have a predicted post-TAVR survival greater than 12 months.
MODIFIED:LOE updated from B to A. Longer-term follow-up from RCTs and additional observational studies has demonstrated the benefit of TAVR in patients with a prohibitive surgical risk.
TAVR is a reasonable alternative to surgical AVR for symptomatic patients with severe AS (Stage D) and an intermediate surgical risk, depending on patient-specific procedural risks, values, and preferences.
NEW: New RCT showed noninferiority of TAVR to surgical AVR in symptomatic patients with severe AS at intermediate surgical risk.
Percutaneous aortic balloon dilation may be considered as a bridge to surgical AVR or TAVR for symptomatic patients with severe AS.
2014 recommendation remains current.
III: No Benefit
TAVR is not recommended in patients in whom existing comorbidities would preclude the expected benefit from correction of AS.
2014 recommendation remains current.
↑Otto CM, Nishimura RA, Bonow RO, Carabello BA, Erwin JP, Gentile F, Jneid H, Krieger EV, Mack M, McLeod C, O'Gara PT, Rigolin VH, Sundt TM, Thompson A, Toly C (February 2021). "2020 ACC/AHA Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease: Executive Summary: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Joint Committee on Clinical Practice Guidelines". Circulation. 143 (5): e35–e71. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000932. PMID33332149Check |pmid= value (help).
↑Nishimura RA, Otto CM, Bonow RO, Carabello BA, Erwin JP, Fleisher LA, Jneid H, Mack MJ, McLeod CJ, O'Gara PT, Rigolin VH, Sundt TM, Thompson A (2017). "2017 AHA/ACC Focused Update of the 2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines". Circulation. 135 (25): e1159–e1195. doi:10.1161/CIR.0000000000000503. PMID28298458.
↑Nishimura RA, Otto CM, Bonow RO, Carabello BA, Erwin JP, Fleisher LA, Jneid H, Mack MJ, McLeod CJ, O'Gara PT, Rigolin VH, Sundt TM, Thompson A (2017). "2017 AHA/ACC Focused Update of the 2014 AHA/ACC Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease: A Report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Clinical Practice Guidelines". J. Am. Coll. Cardiol. 70 (2): 252–289. doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2017.03.011. PMID28315732.
AHA/ACC 2014 Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Diseases
"3. AVR is reasonable in symptomatic patients with low-flow/low-gradient severe AS with reduced LVEF (stage D2) with a low-dose dobutamine stress study that shows an aortic velocity ≥ 4.0 m/s (or mean pressure gradient ≥ 40 mm Hg) with a valve area ≤ 1.0 cm2 at any dobutamine dose (Level of Evidence: B)"
"4. AVR is reasonable in symptomatic patients who have low-flow/low-gradient severe AS (stage D3) who are normotensive and have an LVEF ≥50% if clinical, hemodynamic, and anatomic data support valve obstruction as the most likely cause of symptoms (Level of Evidence: C)"
"1.TAVR is not recommended in patients in whom existing comorbidities would preclude the expected benefit from correction of AS. (Level of Evidence: B)"
2008 Focused Update Incorporated Into the 2006 ACC/AHA Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Valvular Heart Disease and the Guidelines for the Management of Adults With Congenital Heart Disease (DO NOT EDIT)
Recommendations for Aortic Valve Repair/Replacement and Aortic Root Replacement (DO NOT EDIT)
"4. Surgery to repair or replace the ascending aorta in a patient with a BAV is recommended when the ascending aorta diameter is 5.0 cm or more or when there is progressive dilatation at a rate greater than or equal to 5 mm per year.(Level of Evidence: B)"
"1.AVR is reasonable for asymptomatic patients with severe AR and normal systolic function (ejection fraction greater than 50%) but with severe LV dilatation (LV end-diastolic diameter greater than 75 mm or end-systolic dimension greater than 55 mm*). (Level of Evidence: B)"
f. Severe AR with rapidly progressive LV dilation when the degree of LV dilation exceeds an end-diastolic dimension of 70 mm or end-systolic dimension of 50 mm, with declining exercise tolerance, or with abnormal hemodynamic responses to exercise. (Level of Evidence: C)"
"2. Surgical repair may be considered in adults with AS or AR and concomitant ascending aortic dilatation (ascending aorta diameter greater than 4.5 cm) coexisting with AS or AR. (Level of Evidence: B)"
"3. Early surgical repair may be considered in adults with the following indications:
"1.Aortic balloon valvotomy should not be performed when the asymptomatic adolescent or young adult patient with AS has a catheterization peak LV-to-peak aortic gradient less than 40 mm Hg without symptoms or ECG changes. (Level of Evidence: C)*"
"1.Aortic balloon valvotomy is reasonable in the asymptomatic adolescent or young adult patient with AS when catheterization peak LV-to-peak aortic gradient is greater than 50 mm Hg and the patient wants to play competitive sports or desires to become pregnant. (Level of Evidence C)*"
↑ 2.02.12.2Bonow RO, Carabello BA, Chatterjee K; et al. (2008). "2008 Focused update incorporated into the ACC/AHA 2006 guidelines for the management of patients with valvular heart disease: a report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Revise the 1998 Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease): endorsed by the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, and Society of Thoracic Surgeons". Circulation. 118 (15): e523–661. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.108.190748. PMID18820172. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)CS1 maint: Explicit use of et al. (link) CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)