New method helps identify TAVR patients at risk for readmission

Researchers have identified a new way for clinicians to predict which transcatheter aortic valve implantation patients may be at higher risk for hospital readmission due to heart failure, according to a study published in Structural Heart: The Journal of the Heart Team.

University at Buffalo (N.Y.) researchers conducted a retrospective study of 198 patients, who underwent TAVR from 2012 to 2016. The research team focused on a measure called elevated valvuloarterial impedance, also known as Zva. Cardiac ultrasounds can be used to obtain the Zva measure.

According to study results, among 41 patients who were rehospitalized after TAVR, 34.2 percent with a high Zva prior to the procedure were readmitted because of heart failure symptoms.

Additionally, patients in whom Zva either increased or remained unchanged were three times more likely (18.2 percent) to die within one year of the procedure as compared to those in whom Zva decreased (6.3 percent).

"Our findings suggest that Zva may play a key role in patients who fail to have clinical improvement post-TAVR and will most likely not benefit from the procedure," said Aishwarya Bhardwaj, MD, a medical resident in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB. "So Zva has prognostic implications in evaluating patients who may or may not benefit with the procedure."

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