Moderate aortic stenosis (AS) and reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) constitute a clinical entity that has been proposed as a therapeutic target for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR). It is defined by a mean trans-aortic gradient between 20 and 40 mmHg and an aortic valve area between 1.0 and 1.5 cm2 in patients with LVEF < 50%. Retrospective data suggests a prevalence of 0.8% among patients referred for echocardiographic assessment. These patients are younger and show a higher frequency of previous myocardial infarction than those with severe AS randomized to TAVR in recent trials. In two retrospective studies including patients with moderate AS and reduced LVEF, a one-year mortality rate of 9 and 32% was reported, the latter in patients treated with medical therapy only during follow-up. Echocardiographic diagnosis of moderate AS poses challenges as current guidelines are directed to determine severe AS, and different presentations of moderate and mild AS have been generally neglected. Thus, the nomenclature would need to be revised and a description of possible scenarios is provided in this review. Dobutamine stress echocardiography and computed tomography are promising complementary tools. Likewise, a standardized clinical pathway is needed, in which a high level of suspicion and a low threshold for referral to a heart valve center is warranted. The Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement to UNload the Left ventricle in patients with Advanced heart failure (TAVR UNLOAD) trial (NCT02661451) is exploring whether TAVR would improve outcomes in patients receiving optimal heart failure therapy.

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Journal Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine
Spitzer, E., Ren, B, Kroon, H.G., van Gils, L, Manintveld, O.C, Daemen, J, … van Mieghem, N.M. (2018). Moderate Aortic Stenosis and Reduced Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction: Current Evidence and Challenges Ahead. Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, 5. doi:10.3389/fcvm.2018.00111