As noted previously in The Beat (see “What’s Next for TAVI?”), a recognized complication of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is stroke. Material from the calcium deposits in and around the valve can break away during the procedure and travel up the bloodstream to the brain. One possible solution is the use of a filter to capture the debris. A small clinical trial is providing some information on the success of this technique.
In the trial, patients undergoing TAVI who had a protective device implanted during the procedure had fewer incidents of damage to brain tissue than patients who did not get the device and the areas of the brain that were affected were smaller.
The study was small (50 patients in the filter group and 50 controls) and was not designed to assess clinical outcomes. Further, larger studies are needed to see whether preventing strokes in this fashion results in better outcomes following TAVI, explained the study authors.
- Access the study in JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association)