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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Shows Only Modest Benefit for General Health Outcomes — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 18, 2014

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Shows Only Modest Benefit for General Health Outcomes

By Amy Orciari Herman

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in patients with severe aortic stenosis improves clinical outcomes but has a modest effect on psychological and general health measures, according to a systematic review in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers examined data from 60 observational studies and two randomized, controlled trials that included over 11,000 patients who underwent TAVR. Overall, TAVR tended to improve heart symptoms, physical function, and disease-specific quality of life. Psychological benefits and general health improvements, on the other hand, were frequently "small and inconsistent."

The researchers note several limitations of their analysis, including substantial heterogeneity and varying methodological quality across the studies.

Cardiologist Harlan Krumholz, an editor with NEJM Journal Watch, says, "TAVR produces many benefits, but this study suggests that improvements may vary by site and patient population. To help patients make more informed choices, we are going to need a better understanding of how to personalize estimates of benefits and risks."

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