TECHmED

TECHmED / Valvular heart disease Guidelines (2020)

TECHmED

Peter Blahút

Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease (2020 ACC/AHA)

Source: 2020 ACC/AHA Guideline for the Management of Patients With Valvular Heart Disease

Content

Echocardiography

TOP 10 Take-Home Messages

  1. Disease stages in patients with valvular heart disease should be classified (Stages A, B, C, and D) on the basis of symptoms, valve anatomy, the severity of valve dysfunction, and the response of the ventricle and pulmonary circulation.
  2. In the evaluation of a patient with valvular heart disease, history and physical examination findings should be correlated with the results of noninvasive testing (i.e., ECG, chest x-ray, transthoracic echocardiogram). If there is discordance between the physical examination and initial noninvasive testing, consider further noninvasive (computed tomography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, stress testing) or invasive (transesophageal echocardiography, cardiac catheterization) testing to determine optimal treatment strategy.
  3. For patients with valvular heart disease and atrial fibrillation (except for patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis or a mechanical prosthesis), the decision to use oral anticoagulation to prevent thromboembolic events, with either a vitamin K antagonist or a non–vitamin K antagonist anticoagulant, should be made in a shared decision-making process based on the CHA2DS2-VASc score. Patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis or a mechanical prosthesis and atrial fibrillation should receive oral anticoagulation with a vitamin K antagonist.
  4. All patients with severe valvular heart disease being considered for valve intervention should be evaluated by a multidisciplinary team, with either referral to or consultation with a Primary or Comprehensive Valve Center.
  5. Treatment of severe aortic stenosis with either a transcatheter or surgical valve prosthesis should be based primarily on symptoms or reduced ventricular systolic function. Earlier intervention may be considered if indicated by results of exercise testing, biomarkers, rapid progression, or the presence of very severe stenosis.
  6. Indications for TAVI are expanding as a result of multiple randomized trials of TAVI versus surgical aortic valve replacement. The choice of type of intervention for a patient with severe aortic stenosis should be a shared decision-making process that considers the lifetime risks and benefits associated with type of valve (mechanical versus bioprosthetic) and type of approach (transcatheter versus surgical).
  7. Indications for intervention for valvular regurgitation are relief of symptoms and prevention of the irreversible long-term consequences of left ventricular volume overload. Thresholds for intervention now are lower than they were previously because of more durable treatment options and lower procedural risks.
  8. A mitral transcatheter edge-to-edge repair is of benefit to patients with severely symptomatic primary mitral regurgitation who are at high or prohibitive risk for surgery, as well as to a select subset of patients with secondary mitral regurgitation who remain severely symptomatic despite guideline-directed management and therapy for heart failure.
  9. Patients presenting with severe symptomatic isolated tricuspid regurgitation, commonly associated with device leads and atrial fibrillation, may benefit from surgical intervention to reduce symptoms and recurrent hospitalizations if done before the onset of severe right ventricular dysfunction or end-organ damage to the liver and kidney.
  10. Bioprosthetic valve dysfunction may occur because of either degeneration of the valve leaflets or valve thrombosis. Catheter-based treatment for prosthetic valve dysfunction is reasonable in selected patients for bioprosthetic leaflet degeneration or paravalvular leak in the absence of active infection.

01 Applying Class of Recommendation and Level of Evidence to Clinical Strategies, Interventions, Treatments, or Diagnostic Testing in Patient Care (Updated May 2019)*


01.1 Class (Strength) Of Recommendation

CLASS 1 (STRONG) Benefit >>> Risk
Suggested phrases for writing recommendations:
  • Is recommended
  • Is indicated/useful/effective/beneficial
  • Should be performed/administered/other
  • Comparative-Effectiveness Phrases :
    • Treatment/strategy A is recommended/indicated in preference to treatment B
    • Treatment A should be chosen over treatment B
CLASS 2a (MODERATE) Benefit >> Risk
Suggested phrases for writing recommendations:
  • Is reasonable
  • Can be useful/effective/beneficial
  • Comparative-Effectiveness Phrases :
    • Treatment/strategy A is probably recommended/indicated in preference to treatment B
    • It is reasonable to choose treatment A over treatment B
CLASS 2b (WEAK) Benefit ≥ Risk
Suggested phrases for writing recommendations:
  • May/might be reasonable
  • May/might be considered
  • Usefulness/effectiveness is unknown/unclear/uncertain or not well established
CLASS 3: No Benefit (MODERATE)
(Generally, LOE A or B use only) Benefit = Risk
Suggested phrases for writing recommendations:
  • Is not recommended
  • Is not indicated/useful/effective/beneficial
  • Should not be performed/administered/other
CLASS 3: Harm (STRONG) Risk > Benefit
Suggested phrases for writing recommendations:
  • Potentially harmful
  • Causes harm
  • Associated with excess morbidity/mortality
  • Should not be performed/administered/other
COR and LOE are determined independently (any COR may be paired with any LOE).
* The outcome or result of the intervention should be specified (an improved clinical outcome or increased diagnostic accuracy or incremental prognostic information).
For comparative-effectiveness recommendations (COR I and IIa; LOE A and B only), studies that support the use of comparator verbs should involve direct comparisons of the treatments or strategies being evaluated.
COR - Class of Recommendation; EO - expert opinion; LD - limited data; LOE - Level of Evidence; NR - nonrandomized; R - randomized; RCT - randomized controlled trial

01.2 Level (Quality) Of Evidence‡

LEVEL A
  • High-quality evidence from more than 1 RCT
  • Meta-analyses of high-quality RCTs
  • One or more RCTs corroborated by high-quality registry studies
LEVEL B-R (Randomized)
  • Moderate-quality evidence from 1 or more RCTs
  • Meta-analyses of moderate-quality RCTs
LEVEL B-NR (Nonrandomized)
  • Moderate-quality evidence from 1 or more well-designed, well-executed nonrandomized studies, observational studies, or registry studies
  • Meta-analyses of such studies
LEVEL C-LD (Limited Data)
  • Randomized or nonrandomized observational or registry studies with limitations of design or execution
  • Meta-analyses of such studies
  • Physiological or mechanistic studies in human subjects
LEVEL C-EO (Expert Opinion)
  • Consensus of expert opinion based on clinical experience
COR and LOE are determined independently (any COR may be paired with any LOE).
A recommendation with LOE C does not imply that the recommendation is weak. Many important clinical questions addressed in guidelines do not lend themselves to clinical trials. Although RCTs are unavailable, there may be a very clear clinical consensus that a particular test or therapy is useful or effective.
The method of assessing quality is evolving, including the application of standardized, widely used, and preferably validated evidence grading tools; and for systematic reviews, the incorporation of an Evidence Review Committee.
COR indicates Class of Recommendation; EO, expert opinion; LD, limited data; LOE, Level of Evidence; NR, nonrandomized; R, randomized; RCT, randomized controlled trial.

02 General principles


02.1 Evaluation of Patients With Known or Suspected VHD

Reason Test Indication
Initial evaluation: All patients with known or suspected valve disease TTE* Establishes chamber size and function, valve morphology and severity, and effect on pulmonary and systemic circulation
History and physical Establishes symptom severity, comorbidities, valve disease presence and severity, and presence of HF
ECG Establishes rhythm, LV function, and presence or absence of hypertrophy
Further diagnostic testing: Information required for equivocal symptom status, discrepancy between examination and echocardiogram, further definition of valve disease, or assessing response of the ventricles and pulmonary circulation to load and to exercise Chest x-ray Important for the symptomatic patient; establishes heart size and presence or absence of pulmonary vascular congestion, intrinsic lung disease, and calcification of aorta and pericardium
TEE Provides high-quality assessment of mitral and prosthetic valve, including definition of intracardiac masses and possible associated abnormalities (e.g., intracardiac abscess, LA thrombus)
CMR Provides assessment of LV volumes and function, valve severity, and aortic disease
PET CT Aids in determination of active infection or inflammation
Stress testing Gives an objective measure of exercise capacity
Catheterization Provides measurement of intracardiac and pulmonary pressures, valve severity, and hemodynamic response to exercise and drugs
Further risk stratification: Information on future risk of the valve disease, which is important for determination of timing of intervention Biomarkers Provide indirect assessment of filling pressures and myocardial damage
TTE strain Helps assess intrinsic myocardial performance
CMR Assesses fibrosis by gadolinium enhancement
Stress testing Provides prognostic markers
Procedural risk Quantified by STS (Predicted Risk of Mortality) and TAVI scores
Frailty score Provides assessment of risk of procedure and chance of recovery of quality of life
Preprocedural testing: Testing required before valve intervention Dental examination Rules out potential infection sources
CT coronary angiogram or invasive coronary angiogram Gives an assessment of coronary anatomy
CT: peripheral Assesses femoral access for TAVI and other transcatheter procedures
CT: cardiac Assesses suitability for TAVI and other transcatheter procedures
* TTE is the standard initial diagnostic test in the initial evaluation of patients with known or suspected VHD.

02.2 Stages of VHD

Stage Definition Description
A At risk Patients with risk factors for development of VHD
B Progressive Patients with progressive VHD (mild to moderate severity and asymptomatic)
C Asymptomatic severe Asymptomatic patients who have the criteria for severe VHD:
C1: Asymptomatic patients with severe VHD in whom the left or right ventricle remains compensated
C2: Asymptomatic patients with severe VHD with decompensation of the left or right ventricle
D Symptomatic severe Patients who have developed symptoms as a result of VHD

02.3 Frequency of Echocardiograms in Asymptomatic Patients With VHD and Normal LV Function

Stage Type of Valve Lesion
Aortic Stenosis* Aortic Regurgitation Mitral Stenosis Mitral Regurgitation
Progressive
(stage B)
Every 3–5 y (mild severity; Vmax 2.0–2.9 m/s) Every 3–5 y (mild severity) Every 3–5 y (MVA >1.5 cm2) Every 1–2 y (moderate severity)
Every 1–2 y (moderate severity; Vmax 3.0–3.9 m/s) Every 1–2 y (moderate severity) Every 3–5 y (mild severity)
Severe asymptomatic
(stage C1)
Every 6–12 mo (Vmax ≥4 m/s) Every 6–12 mo Every 1–2 y (MVA 1.0–1.5 cm2) Every 6–12 mo
Dilating LV: More frequently Every year (MVA <1.0 cm2) Dilating LV: More frequently
* With normal stroke volume.
Patients with mixed valve disease may require serial evaluations at intervals earlier than recommended for single-valve lesions. These intervals apply to most patients with each valve lesion and do not take into consideration the etiology of the valve disease.

03 Medical Therapy


03.1 Secondary Prevention of Rheumatic Fever

1
C-EO
In patients with rheumatic heart disease, secondary prevention of rheumatic fever is indicated. (Tables 03.2, 03.2)

03.2 Secondary Prevention of Rheumatic Fever (Antibiotics)

Antibiotics for Prevention Dosage*
Penicillin G benzathine 1.2 million U intramuscularly every 4 wk
Penicillin V potassium 200 mg orally twice daily
Sulfadiazine 1 g orally once daily
Macrolide or azalide antibiotic (for patients allergic to penicillin and sulfadiazine) Varies
* In patients with documented valvular heart disease, the duration of rheumatic fever prophylaxis should be ≥10 y or until the patient is 40 y of age (whichever is longer). Lifelong prophylaxis may be recommended if the patient is at high risk of group A streptococcus exposure. Secondary rheumatic heart disease prophylaxis is required even after valve replacement.
Administration every 3 wk is recommended in certain high-risk situations.
Macrolide antibiotics should not be used in persons taking other medications that inhibit cytochrome P450 3A, such as azole antifungal agents, HIV protease inhibitors, and some selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors.

03.3 Duration of Secondary Prophylaxis for Rheumatic Fever

Type Duration After Last Attack*
Rheumatic fever with carditis and residual heart disease (persistent VHD) 10 y or until patient is 40 y of age (whichever is longer)
Rheumatic fever with carditis but no residual heart disease (no valvular disease) 10 y or until patient is 21 y of age (whichever is longer)
Rheumatic fever without carditis 5 y or until patient is 21 y of age (whichever is longer)
* Lifelong prophylaxis may be recommended if the patient is at high risk of group A streptococcus exposure. Secondary rheumatic heart disease prophylaxis is required even after valve replacement.
Clinical or echocardiographic evidence.

03.4 Infective Endocarditis Prophylaxis

2a
C-LD
Antibiotic prophylaxis is reasonable before dental procedures that involve manipulation of gingival tissue, manipulation of the periapical region of teeth, or perforation of the oral mucosa in patients with VHD who have any of the following:
  • Prosthetic cardiac valves, including transcatheter-implanted prostheses and homografts.
  • Prosthetic material used for cardiac valve repair, such as annuloplasty rings, chords, or clips.
  • Previous infective endocarditis.
  • Unrepaired cyanotic congenital heart disease or repaired congenital heart disease, with residual shunts or valvular regurgitation at the site of or adjacent to the site of a prosthetic patch or prosthetic device.
  • Cardiac transplant with valve regurgitation attributable to a structurally abnormal valve.
3: No Benefit
B-NR
In patients with VHD who are at high risk of infective endocarditis, antibiotic prophylaxis is not recommended for nondental procedures (e.g., TEE, esophagogastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, or cystoscopy) in the absence of active infection.

03.5 Anticoagulation for Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With VHD

1
A
For patients with atrial fibrillation and native valve heart disease (except rheumatic mitral stenosis) or who received a bioprosthetic valve >3 months ago, a NOAC is an effective alternative to VKA anticoagulation and should be administered on the basis of the patient’s CHA2DS2-VASc score.
1
C-EO
For patients with atrial fibrillation and rheumatic MS, long-term VKA oral anticoagulation is recommended.
2a
B-NR
For patients with new-onset atrial fibrillation ≤3 months after surgical or transcatheter bioprosthetic valve replacement, anticoagulation with a VKA is reasonable.
3: Harm
B-R
In patients with mechanical heart valves with or without atrial fibrillation who require long-term anticoagulation with VKA to prevent valve thrombosis, NOACs are not recommended.

03.6 Anticoagulation for Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With VHD


Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
AF - atrial fibrillation; MS - mitral stenosis; NOAC - non–vitamin K oral anticoagulant; VHD - valvular heart disease; VKA - vitamin K antagonist.

04 Surgical Therapy


04.1 Evaluation of Surgical and Interventional Risk

1
C-EO
For patients with VHD for whom intervention is contemplated, individual risks should be calculated for specific surgical and/or transcatheter procedures, using online tools when available, and discussed before the procedure as a part of a shared decision-making process.

04.2 Risk Assessment for Surgical Valve Procedures

Criteria Low-Risk SAVR
(Must Meet ALL Criteria in This Column)
Low-Risk Surgical Mitral Valve Repair for Primary MR
(Must Meet ALL Criteria in This Column)
High Surgical Risk
(Any 1 Criterion in This Column)
Prohibitive Surgical Risk
(Any 1 Criterion in This Column)
STS-predicted risk of death* <3%
AND
<1%
AND
>8%
OR
Predicted risk of death or major morbidity (all-cause) >50% at 1 y OR
Frailty None
AND
None
AND
≥2 Indices (moderate to severe)
OR
≥2 Indices (moderate to severe)
OR
Cardiac or other major organ system compromise not to be improved postoperatively None
AND
None
AND
1 to 2 Organ systems
OR
≥3 Organ systems
OR
Procedure-specific impediment§ None None Possible procedure-specific impediment Severe procedure-specific impediment
* Use of the STS Predicted Risk of Mortality (http://riskcalc.sts.org/stswebriskcalc/#/) to predict risk in a given institution with reasonable reliability is appropriate only if institutional outcomes are within 1 standard deviation of the STS average observed/expected mortality ratio for the procedure in question. The EUROSCORE II risk calculator may also be considered for use and is available at http://www.euroscore.org/calc.html.
Seven frailty indices: Katz Activities of Daily Living (independence in feeding, bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, and urinary continence) plus independence in ambulation (no walking aid or assistance required, or completion of a 5-m walk in <6 s). Other scoring systems can be applied to calculate no, mild, or moderate to severe frailty.
Examples of major organ system compromise include cardiac dysfunction (severe LV systolic or diastolic dysfunction or RV dysfunction, fixed pulmonary hypertension); kidney dysfunction (chronic kidney disease, stage 3 or worse); pulmonary dysfunction (FEV1 <50% or DLCO2 <50% of predicted); central nervous system dysfunction (dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cerebrovascular accident with persistent physical limitation); gastrointestinal dysfunction (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, nutritional impairment, or serum albumin <3.0); cancer (active malignancy); and liver dysfunction (any history of cirrhosis, variceal bleeding, or elevated INR in the absence of VKA therapy).
§ Examples of procedure-specific impediments include presence of tracheostomy, heavily calcified (porcelain) ascending aorta, chest malformation, arterial coronary graft adherent to posterior chest wall, and radiation damage.
DLCO2 - indicates diffusion capacity for carbon dioxide; FEV1 - forced expiratory volume in 1 s; INR - international normalized ratio; LV - left ventricular; MR - mitral regurgitation; RV - right ventricular; SAVR - surgical aortic valve replacement; STS - Society of Thoracic Surgeons; and VKA - vitamin K antagonist.

04.3 Examples of Procedure-Specific Risk Factors for Interventions Not Incorporated Into Existing Risk Scores

SAVR TAVI Surgical MV Repair or Replacement TEER
Technical or anatomic
  • Prior mediastinal radiation
  • Ascending aortic calcification (porcelain aorta may be prohibitive)
  • Aorto-iliac occlusive disease precluding transfemoral approach
  • Aortic arch atherosclerosis (protuberant lesions)
  • Severe MR or TR
  • Low-lying coronary arteries
  • Basal septal hypertrophy
  • Valve morphology (e.g., bicuspid or unicuspid valve)
  • Extensive LV outflow tract calcification
  • Prior sternotomy
  • Prior mediastinal radiation
  • Ascending aortic calcification (porcelain aorta may be prohibitive)
  • Multivalve disease
  • Valve morphology (e.g., thickening, perforations, clefts, calcification, and stenosis)
  • Prior Mitral Valve surgery
Comorbidities
  • Severe COPD or home oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Severe RV dysfunction
  • Hepatic dysfunction
  • Frailty*
  • Severe COPD or home oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Severe RV dysfunction
  • Hepatic dysfunction
  • Frailty*
  • Severe COPD or home oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Hepatic dysfunction
  • Frailty*
  • Severe COPD or home oxygen therapy
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Hepatic dysfunction
  • Frailty*
Futility
  • STS score >15
  • Life expectancy <1 y
  • Poor candidate for rehabilitation
  • STS score >15
  • Life expectancy <1 y
  • Poor candidate for rehabilitation
  • STS score >15
  • Life expectancy <1 y
  • Poor candidate for rehabilitation
  • STS score >15
  • Life expectancy <1 y
  • Poor candidate for rehabilitation
* Validated frailty scores include the Katz Activities of Daily Living Score

04.4 Median Operative Mortality Rates for Specific Surgical Procedures (STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, 2019)

Procedure Mortality Rate (%)
AVR 2.2
AVR and CABG 4
AVR and Mitral Valve replacement 9
Mitral Valve replacement 5
Mitral Valve replacement and CABG 9
Mitral Valve repair 1
Mitral Valve repair and CABG 5

04.5 The Multidisciplinary Heart Valve Team and Heart Valve Centers

1
C-EO
Patients with severe VHD should be evaluated by a Multidisciplinary Heart Valve Team when intervention is considered.
2a
C-LD
Consultation with or referral to a Primary or Comprehensive Heart Valve Center is reasonable when treatment options are being discussed for 1) asymptomatic patients with severe VHD, 2) patients who may benefit from valve repair versus valve replacement, or 3) patients with multiple comorbidities for whom valve intervention is considered.

04.6 Structure of Primary and Comprehensive Valve Centers

Comprehensive (Level I) Valve Center Primary (Level II) Valve Center
Interventional Procedures*
TAVI–transfemoral TAVI–transfemoral
Percutaneous aortic valve balloon dilation Percutaneous aortic valve balloon dilation
TAVI–alternative access, including transthoracic (transaortic, transapical) and extrathoracic (e.g., subclavian, carotid, caval) approaches
Valve-in-valve procedures
Mitral transcatheter edge-to-edge repair
Prosthetic valve paravalvular leak closure
Percutaneous mitral balloon commissurotomy
Surgical Procedures*
SAVR SAVR
Valve-sparing aortic root procedures
Aortic root procedures for aneurysmal disease
Concomitant septal myectomy with AVR
Root enlargement with AVR
Mitral repair for primary MR Mitral repair for posterior leaflet primary MR
Mitral valve replacement Mitral valve replacement
Multivalve operations
Reoperative valve surgery
Isolated or concomitant tricuspid valve repair or replacement Concomitant tricuspid valve repair or replacement with mitral surgery
Imaging Personnel
Echocardiographer with expertise in valve disease and transcatheter and surgical interventions Echocardiographer with expertise in valve disease and transcatheter and surgical interventions
Expertise in CT with application to valve assessment and procedural planning Expertise in CT with application to valve assessment and procedural planning
Interventional echocardiographer to provide imaging guidance for transcatheter and intraoperative procedures
Expertise in cardiac MRI with application to assessment of VHD
Criteria for Imaging Personnel
A formalized role/position for a “valve echocardiographer” who performs both the pre- and postprocedural assessment of valve disease A formalized role/position for a “valve echocardiographer” who performs both the pre- and postprocedural assessment of valve disease
A formalized role/position for the expert in CT who oversees the preprocedural assessment of patients with valve disease A formalized role/position for the expert in CT who oversees the preprocedural assessment of patients with valve disease
A formalized role/position for an interventional echocardiographer
Institutional Facilities and Infrastructure
MDT MDT
A formalized role/position for a dedicated valve coordinator who organizes care across the continuum and system of care A formalized role/position for a dedicated valve coordinator who organizes care across the continuum and system of care
Cardiac anesthesia support Cardiac anesthesia support
Palliative care team Palliative care team
Vascular surgery support Vascular surgery support
Neurology stroke team Neurology stroke team
Consultative services with other cardiovascular subspecialties
Consultative services with other medical and surgical subspecialties
Echocardiography–3D TEE; comprehensive TTE for assessment of valve disease Echocardiography–comprehensive TTE for assessment of valve disease
Cardiac CT Cardiac CT
ICU ICU
Temporary mechanical support (including percutaneous support devices such as intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation, temporary percutaneous ventricular assist device or ECMO) Temporary mechanical support (including percutaneous support devices such as intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation, temporary percutaneous ventricular assist device or ECMO)
Left/right ventricular assist device capabilities (on-site or at an affiliated institution)
Cardiac catheterization laboratory, hybrid catheterization laboratory, or hybrid OR laboratory§ Cardiac catheterization laboratory
PPM and ICD implantation PPM and ICD implantation
Institutional Facilities and Infrastructure
IAC echocardiography laboratory accreditation IAC echocardiography laboratory accreditation
24/7 intensivist coverage for ICU
* A Primary (Level II) Center may provide additional procedures traditionally offered at a Comprehensive (Level I) Center as long as the criteria for competence and outcomes are met.
If intraoperative imaging and surgical expertise exist.
If mitral valve anatomy is not suitable for valve repair.
§ Equipped with a fixed radiographic imaging system and flat-panel fluoroscopy, offering catheterization laboratory-quality imaging and hemodynamic capability.

04.7 Periodic Imaging After Valve Intervention

1
C-EO
In asymptomatic patients with any type of valve intervention, a baseline postprocedural TTE followed by periodic monitoring with TTE is recommended, depending on type of intervention, length of time after intervention, ventricular function, and concurrent cardiac conditions.

04.8 Timing of Periodic Imaging After Valve Intervention

Imaging Follow-Up*
Valve Intervention Minimal Imaging Frequency Location
Mechanical valve (surgical) Baseline Primary Valve Center
Bioprosthetic valve (surgical) Baseline, 5 and 10 y after surgery, and then annually Primary Valve Center
Bioprosthetic valve (transcatheter) Baseline and then annually Primary Valve Center
Mitral valve repair (surgical) Baseline, 1 y, and then every 2–3 y Primary Valve Center
Mitral valve repair (transcatheter) Baseline and then annually Comprehensive Valve Center
Bicuspid aortic valve disease Continued post-AVR monitoring of aortic size if aortic diameter is ≥4.0 cm at time of AVR, as detailed in Section 07 Primary Valve Center
* Initial postprocedural TTE is recommended for all patients, ideally 1 to 3 months after the procedure. Annual clinical follow-up is recommended annually for all patients after valve intervention at a Primary or Comprehensive Valve Center.
Repeat imaging is appropriate at shorter follow-up intervals for changing signs or symptoms, during pregnancy, and to monitor residual or concurrent cardiac dysfunction.
Imaging may be done more frequently in patients with bioprosthetic surgical valves if there are risk factors for early valve degeneration (e.g., younger age, renal failure, diabetes).

05 Aortic stenosis


05.1 Stages of Aortic Stenosis

Stage Definition Valve Anatomy Valve Hemodynamics Hemodynamic Consequences Symptoms
A At risk of AS
  • BAV (or other congenital valve anomaly)
  • Aortic valve sclerosis
Aortic Vmax <2 m/s with normal leaflet motion None None
B Progressive AS
  • Mild to moderate leaflet calcification/fibrosis of a bicuspid or trileaflet valve with some reduction in systolic motion or
  • Rheumatic valve changes with commissural fusion
  • Mild AS:
    Aortic Vmax 2.0–2.9 m/s or ∆Pmean <20 mm Hg
  • Moderate AS:
    Aortic Vmax 3.0–3.9 m/s or ∆Pmean 20–39 mm Hg
  • Early LV diastolic dysfunction may be present
  • Normal LVEF
None
C: Asymptomatic severe AS
C1 Asymptomatic severe AS Severe leaflet calcification/fibrosis or congenital stenosis with severely reduced leaflet opening
  • Aortic Vmax ≥4 m/s or ∆Pmean ≥40 mm Hg
  • AVA typically ≤1.0 cm2 (or AVAi 0.6 cm2/m2) but not required to define severe AS
  • Very severe AS: Aortic Vmax ≥5 m/s or ∆Pmean ≥60 mm Hg
  • LV diastolic dysfunction
  • Mild LV hypertrophy
  • Normal LVEF
  • None
  • Exercise testing is reasonable to confirm symptom status
C2 Asymptomatic severe AS with LV systolic dysfunction Severe leaflet calcification/fibrosis or congenital stenosis with severely reduced leaflet opening
  • Aortic Vmax ≥4 m/s or ∆Pmean ≥40 mm Hg
  • AVA typically ≤1.0 cm2 (or AVAi 0.6 cm2/m2) but not required to define severe AS
LVEF <50% None
D: Symptomatic severe AS
D1 Symptomatic severe high-gradient AS Severe leaflet calcification/fibrosis or congenital stenosis with severely reduced leaflet opening
  • Aortic Vmax ≥4 m/s or ∆Pmean ≥40 mm Hg
  • AVA typically ≤1.0 cm2 (or AVAi ≤0.6 cm2/m2) but may be larger with mixed AS/AR
  • LV diastolic dysfunction
  • LV hypertrophy
  • Pulmonary hypertension may be present
  • Exertional dyspnea, decreased exercise tolerance, or HF
  • Exertional angina
  • Exertional syncope or presyncope
D2 Symptomatic severe low-flow, low-gradient AS with reduced LVEF Severe leaflet calcification/fibrosis with severely reduced leaflet motion
  • AVA ≤1.0 cm2 with resting aortic Vmax <4 m/s or ∆Pmean <40 mm Hg
  • Dobutamine stress echo shows AVA <1.0 cm2 with Vmax ≥4 m/s at any flow rate
  • LV diastolic dysfunction
  • LV hypertrophy
  • LVEF <50%
  • HF
  • Angina
  • Syncope or presyncope
D3 Symptomatic severe low-gradient AS with normal LVEF or paradoxical low-flow severe AS Severe leaflet calcification/fibrosis with severely reduced leaflet motion
  • AVA ≤1.0 cm2 (AVAi ≤0.6 cm2/m2) with an aortic Vmax <4 m/s or ∆Pmean <40 mmHg
AND
  • Stroke volume index <35 mL/m2
  • Measured when patient is normotensive (systolic blood pressure <140 mm Hg)
  • Increased LV relative wall thickness
  • Small LV chamber with low stroke volume
  • Restrictive diastolic filling
  • LVEF ≥50%
  • HF
  • Angina
  • Syncope or presyncope

05.2 Initial Diagnosic Testing of Aortic Stenosis

1
A
In patients with signs or symptoms of aortic stenosis or a BAV, TTE is indicated for accurate diagnosis of the cause of AS, assessment of hemodynamic severity, measurement of LV size and systolic function, and determination of prognosis and timing of valve intervention.
1
B-NR
In patients with suspected low-flow, low-gradient severe aortic stenosis with normal LVEF (Stage D3), optimization of blood pressure control is recommended before measurement of AS severity by TTE, TEE, cardiac catheterization, or CMR.
2a
B-NR
In patients with suspected low-flow, low-gradient severe aortic stenosis with reduced LVEF (Stage D2), low-dose dobutamine stress testing with echocardiographic or invasive hemodynamic measurements is reasonable to further define severity and assess contractile reserve.
2a
B-NR
In patients with suspected low-flow, low-gradient severe aortic stenosis with normal or reduced LVEF (Stages D2 and D3), calculation of the ratio of the outflow tract to aortic velocity is reasonable to further define severity.
2a
B-NR
In patients with suspected low-flow, low-gradient severe aortic stenosis with normal or reduced LVEF (Stages D2 and D3), measurement of aortic valve calcium score by CT imaging is reasonable to further define severity.

05.3 Exercise Testing in Patients with Aortic Stenosis

2a
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis (Stage C1), exercise testing is reasonable to assess physiological changes with exercise and to confirm the absence of symptoms.
3: Harm
B-NR
In symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis (Stage D1, aortic velocity ≥4.0 m/s or mean pressure gradient ≥40 mm Hg), exercise testing should not be performed because of the risk of severe hemodynamic compromise.

05.4 Medical Therapy of Aortic Stenosis

1
B-NR
In patients at risk of developing aortic stenosis (Stage A) and in patients with asymptomatic AS (Stages B and C), hypertension should be treated according to standard GDMT, started at a low dose, and gradually titrated upward as needed, with appropriate clinical monitoring.
1
A
In all patients with calcific aortic stenosis, statin therapy is indicated for primary and secondary prevention of atherosclerosis on the basis of standard risk scores.
2b
B-NR
In patients who have undergone TAVI, renin–angiotensin system blocker therapy (ACE inhibitor or ARB) may be considered to reduce the long-term risk of all-cause mortality.
3: No Benefit
A
In patients with calcific aortic stenosis (Stages B and C), statin therapy is not indicated for prevention of hemodynamic progression of AS.

05.5 Timing of Intervention of Aortic Stenosis

1
A
In adults with severe high-gradient aortic stenosis (Stage D1) and symptoms of exertional dyspnea, HF, angina, syncope, or presyncope by history or on exercise testing, AVR is indicated.
1
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis and an LVEF <50% (Stage C2), AVR is indicated.
1
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis (Stage C1) who are undergoing cardiac surgery for other indications, AVR is indicated.
1
B-NR
In symptomatic patients with low-flow, low-gradient severe aortic stenosis with reduced LVEF (Stage D2), AVR is recommended.
1
B-NR
In symptomatic patients with low-flow, low-gradient severe aortic stenosis with normal LVEF (Stage D3), AVR is recommended if AS is the most likely cause of symptoms.
2a
B-NR
In apparently asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis (Stage C1) and low surgical risk, AVR is reasonable when an exercise test demonstrates decreased exercise tolerance (normalized for age and sex) or a fall in systolic blood pressure of ≥10 mm Hg from baseline to peak exercise.
2a
B-R
In asymptomatic patients with very severe aortic stenosis (defined as an aortic velocity of ≥5 m/s) and low surgical risk, AVR is reasonable.
2a
B-NR
In apparently asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis (Stage C1) and low surgical risk, AVR is reasonable when the serum B-type natriuretic peptide level is >3 times normal.
2a
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with high-gradient severe aortic stenosis (Stage C1) and low surgical risk, AVR is reasonable when serial testing shows an increase in aortic velocity ≥0.3 m/s per year.
2b
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe high-gradient aortic stenosis (Stage C1) and a progressive decrease in LVEF on at least 3 serial imaging studies to <60%, AVR may be considered.
2b
C-EO
In patients with moderate aortic stenosis (Stage B) who are undergoing cardiac surgery for other indications, AVR may be considered.

05.6 Timing of Intervention of Aortic Stenosis

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
Arrows show the decision pathways that result in a recommendation for AVR. Periodic monitoring is indicated for all patients in whom AVR is not yet indicated, including those with asymptomatic (Stage C) and symptomatic (Stage D) AS and those with low-gradient AS (Stage D2 or D3) who do not meet the criteria for intervention.
See Section 05.7 for choice of valve type (mechanical versus bioprosthetic [TAVR or SAVR]) when AVR is indicated.
AS - aortic stenosis; AV - aortic valve area; AVAi - aortic valve area index; AVR - aortic valve replacement; BNP - B-type natriuretic peptide; BP - blood pressure; DSE - dobutamine stress echocardiography, ETT - exercise treadmill test; LVEF - left ventricular ejection fraction; DPmean - mean systolic pressure gradient between LV and aorta; SAVR - surgical aortic valve replacement; SVI - stroke volume index; TAVI - transcatheter aortic valve implantation; TAVR - transcatheter aortic valve replacement; Vmax - maximum velocity

05.7 Choice of Mechanical Versus Bioprosthetic Aortic Valve Replacement

1
C-EO
In patients with an indication for AVR, the choice of prosthetic valve should be based on a shared decision-making process that accounts for the patient’s values and preferences and includes discussion of the indications for and risks of anticoagulant therapy and the potential need for and risks associated with valve reintervention.
1
C-EO
For patients of any age requiring AVR for whom VKA anticoagulant therapy is contraindicated, cannot be managed appropriately, or is not desired, a bioprosthetic AVR is recommended.
2a
B-R
For patients <50 years of age who do not have a contraindication to anticoagulation and require AVR, it is reasonable to choose a mechanical aortic prosthesis over a bioprosthetic valve.
2a
B-NR
For patients 50 to 65 years of age who require AVR and who do not have a contraindication to anticoagulation, it is reasonable to individualize the choice of either a mechanical or bioprosthetic AVR with consideration of individual patient factors and after informed shared decision-making.
2a
B-R
In patients >65 years of age who require AVR, it is reasonable to choose a bioprosthesis over a mechanical valve.
2b
B-NR
In patients <50 years of age who prefer a bioprosthetic AVR and have appropriate anatomy, replacement of the aortic valve by a pulmonic autograft (the Ross procedure) may be considered at a Comprehensive Valve Center.

05.8 Choice of SAVR Versus TAVI for Patients for Whom a Bioprosthetic AVR Is Appropriate

1
A
For symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis and any indication for AVR who are <65 years of age or have a life expectancy >20 years, SAVR is recommended.
1
A
For symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis who are 65 to 80 years of age and have no anatomic contraindication to transfemoral TAVI, either SAVR or transfemoral TAVI is recommended after shared decision-making about the balance between expected patient longevity and valve durability.
1
A
For symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis who are >80 years of age or for younger patients with a life expectancy <10 years and no anatomic contraindication to transfemoral TAVI, transfemoral TAVI is recommended in preference to SAVR.
1
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis and an LVEF <50% who are ≤80 years of age and have no anatomic contraindication to transfemoral TAVI, the decision between TAVI and SAVR should follow the same recommendations as for symptomatic patients in Recommendations 1, 2, and 3 above.
1
B-NR
For asymptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis and an abnormal exercise test, very severe AS, rapid progression, or an elevated BNP (COR 2a indications for AVR), SAVR is recommended in preference to TAVI.
1
A
For patients with an indication for AVR for whom a bioprosthetic valve is preferred but valve or vascular anatomy or other factors are not suitable for transfemoral TAVI, SAVR is recommended.
1
A
For symptomatic patients of any age with severe aortic stenosis and a high or prohibitive surgical risk, TAVI is recommended if predicted post-TAVI survival is >12 months with an acceptable quality of life.
1
C-EO
For symptomatic patients with severe aortic stenosis for whom predicted post-TAVI or post-SAVR survival is <12 months or for whom minimal improvement in quality of life is expected, palliative care is recommended after shared decision-making, including discussion of patient preferences and values.
2b
C-EO
In critically ill patients with severe aortic stenosis, percutaneous aortic balloon dilation may be considered as a bridge to SAVR or TAVI.

05.9 Choice of SAVR Versus TAVI When AVR is Indicated of Valvular AS

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* Approximate ages, based on US Actuarial Life Expectancy tables, are provided for guidance. The balance between expected patient longevity and valve durability varies continuously across the age range, with more durable valves preferred for patients with a longer life expectancy. Bioprosthetic valve durability is finite (with shorter durability for younger patients) whereas mechanical valves are very durable but require life-long anticoagulation. Long-term (20 year) data on outcomes with surgical bioprosthetic valves is available; robust data on transcatheter bioprosthetic valves only extends to 5 years leading to uncertainty about longer term outcomes. The decision about valve type should be individualized based on patient specific factors that might affect expected longevity.
Placement of a transcatheter valve requires vascular anatomy that allows transfemoral delivery and the absence of aortic root dilation that would require surgical replacement. Valvular anatomy must be suitable for placement of the specific prosthetic valve including annulus size and shape, leaflet number and calcification and coronary ostial height. See ACC Expert Consensus Statement.
AS - aortic stenosis; AVR - aortic valve replacement; LVEF - left ventricular ejection fraction; QOL - quality of life; SAVR - surgical aortic valve replacement; STS - Society of Thoracic Surgeons; TAVI - transcatheter aortic valve implantation; TF - transfemoral; VKA - vitamin K antagonist.

05.10 A Simplified Framework With Examples of Factors Favoring SAVR, TAVI, or Palliation Instead of Aortic Valve Intervention

Favors SAVR Favors TAVI Favors Palliation
Age/life expectancy*
  • Younger age/longer life expectancy
  • Older age/fewer expected remaining years of life
  • Limited life expectancy
Valve anatomy
  • BAV
  • Subaortic (LV outflow tract) calcification
  • Rheumatic valve disease
  • Small or large aortic annulus
  • Calcific AS of a trileaflet valve
Prosthetic valve preference
  • Mechanical or surgical bioprosthetic valve preferred
  • Concern for patient–prosthesis mismatch (annular enlargement might be considered)
  • Bioprosthetic valve preferred
  • Favorable ratio of life expectancy to valve durability
  • TAVI provides larger valve area than same size SAVR
Concurrent cardiac conditions
  • Aortic dilation
  • Severe primary MR
  • Severe CAD requiring bypass grafting
  • Septal hypertrophy requiring myectomy
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Severe calcification of the ascending aorta (“porcelain” aorta)
  • Irreversible severe LV systolic dysfunction
  • Severe MR attributable to annular calcification
Noncardiac conditions
  • Severe lung, liver, or renal disease
  • Mobility issues (high procedural risk with sternotomy)
  • Symptoms likely attributable to noncardiac conditions
  • Severe dementia
  • Moderate to severe involvement of ≥2 other organ systems
Frailty
  • Not frail or few frailty measures
  • Frailty likely to improve after TAVI
  • Severe frailty unlikely to improve after TAVI
Estimated procedural or surgical risk of SAVR or TAVI
  • TAVI risk low to medium
  • SAVR risk high to prohibitive
  • Prohibitive SAVR risk (>15%) or post-TAVI life expectancy <1 y
Procedure-specific impediments
  • Valve anatomy, annular size, or low coronary ostial height precludes TAVI
  • Vascular access does not allow transfemoral TAVI
  • Previous cardiac surgery with at-risk coronary grafts
  • Previous chest irradiation
  • Valve anatomy, annular size, or coronary ostial height precludes TAVI
  • Vascular access does not allow transfemoral TAVI
Goals of Care and patient preferences and values
  • Less uncertainty about valve durability
  • Avoid repeat intervention
  • Lower risk of permanent pacer
  • Life prolongation
  • Symptom relief
  • Improved long-term exercise capacity and quality of life
  • Avoid vascular complications
  • Accepts longer hospital stay, pain in recovery period
  • Accepts uncertainty about valve durability and possible repeat intervention
  • Higher risk of permanent pacer
  • Life prolongation
  • Symptom relief
  • Improved exercise capacity and quality of life
  • Prefers shorter hospital stay, less postprocedural pain
  • Life prolongation not an important goal
  • Avoid futile or unnecessary diagnostic or therapeutic procedures
  • Avoid procedural stroke risk
  • Avoid possibility of cardiac pacer
* Expected remaining years of life can be estimated from U.S. Actuarial Life Expectancy tables. The balance between expected patient longevity and valve durability varies continuously across the age range, with more durable valves preferred for patients with a longer life expectancy. Bioprosthetic valve durability is finite (with shorter durability for younger patients), whereas mechanical valves are very durable but require lifelong anticoagulation. Long-term (20-y) data on outcomes with surgical bioprosthetic valves are available; robust data on transcatheter bioprosthetic valves extend only to 5 y, leading to uncertainty about longer-term outcomes. The decision about valve type should be individualized on the basis of patient-specific factors that might affect expected longevity.
A large aortic annulus may not be suitable for currently available transcatheter valve sizes. With a small aortic annulus or aorta, a surgical annulus-enlarging procedure may be needed to allow placement of a larger prosthesis and avoid patient–prosthesis mismatch.
Dilation of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta may require concurrent surgical replacement, particularly in younger patients with a bicuspid aortic valve.

06 Aortic regurgitation


06.1 Stages of Chronic Aortic Regurgitation

Stage Definition Valve Anatomy Valve Hemodynamics Hemodynamic Consequences Symptoms
A At risk of AR
  • Bicuspid aortic valve (or other congenital valve anomaly)
  • Aortic valve sclerosis
  • Diseases of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta
  • History of rheumatic fever or known rheumatic heart disease
  • Infective endocarditis
AR severity: none or trace None None
B Progressive AR
  • Mild to moderate calcification of a trileaflet valve, bicuspid aortic valve (or other congenital valve anomaly)
  • Dilated aortic sinuses
  • Rheumatic valve changes
  • Previous infective endocarditis
Mild AR:
  • Jet width <25% of LVOT
  • Vena contracta <0.3 cm;
  • RVol <30 mL/beat;
  • RF <30%;
  • ERO <0.10 cm2;
  • Angiography grade 1
Moderate AR:
  • Jet width 25%–64% of LVOT;
  • Vena contracta 0.3–0.6 cm;
  • RVol 30–59 mL/beat;
  • RF 30%–49%;
  • ERO 0.10–0.29 cm2;
  • Angiography grade 2
  • Normal LV systolic function
  • Normal LV volume or mild LV dilation
None
C Asymptomatic severe AR
  • Calcific aortic valve disease
  • Bicuspid valve (or other congenital abnormality)
  • Dilated aortic sinuses or ascending aorta
  • Rheumatic valve changes
  • Infective endocarditis with abnormal leaflet closure or perforation
Severe AR:
  • Jet width ≥65% of LVOT;
  • Vena contracta >0.6 cm;
  • Holodiastolic flow reversal in the proximal abdominal aorta;
  • RVol ≥60 mL/beat;
  • RF ≥50%;
  • ERO ≥0.3 cm2;
  • Angiography grade 3–4;
  • In addition, diagnosis of chronic severe AR requires evidence of LV dilation
C1:
  • Normal LVEF (>55%) and mild to moderate LV dilation (LVESD <50 mm)
C2:
  • Abnormal LV systolic function with depressed LVEF (≤55%) or severe LV dilation (LVESD >50 mm or indexed LVESD >25 mm/m2)
None; exercise testing is reasonable to confirm symptom status
D Symptomatic severe AR
  • Calcific valve disease
  • Bicuspid valve (or other congenital abnormality)
  • Dilated aortic sinuses or ascending aorta
  • Rheumatic valve changes
  • Previous infective endocarditis with abnormal leaflet closure or perforation
Severe AR:
  • Jet width ≥65% of LVOT;
  • Vena contracta >0.6 cm;
  • Holodiastolic flow reversal in the proximal abdominal aorta;
  • RVol ≥60 mL/beat;
  • RF ≥50%;
  • ERO ≥0.3 cm2;
  • Angiography grade 3–4;
  • In addition, diagnosis of chronic severe AR requires evidence of LV dilation
  • Symptomatic severe AR may occur with normal systolic function (LVEF >55%), mild to moderate LV dysfunction (LVEF 40%–55%), or severe LV dysfunction (LVEF <40%)
  • Moderate to severe LV dilation is present
Exertional dyspnea or angina or more severe HF symptoms

06.2 Diagnostic Testing of Chronic Aortic Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In patients with signs or symptoms of aortic regurgitation, TTE is indicated for assessment of the cause and severity of regurgitation, LV size and systolic function, prognosis, and timing of valve intervention.
1
B-NR
In patients with a BAV or with known dilation of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta, TTE is indicated to evaluate the presence and severity of aortic regurgitation.
1
B-NR
In patients with moderate or severe aortic regurgitation and suboptimal TTE images or a discrepancy between clinical and TTE findings, TEE, CMR, or cardiac catheterization is indicated for the assessment of LV systolic function, systolic and diastolic volumes, aortic size, and AR severity.

06.3 Medical Therapy of Chronic Aortic Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with chronic aortic regurgitation (Stages B and C), treatment of hypertension (systolic blood pressure >140 mm Hg) is recommended.
1
B-NR
In patients with severe aortic regurgitation who have symptoms and/or LV systolic dysfunction (Stages C2 and D) but a prohibitive surgical risk, GDMT for reduced LVEF with ACE inhibitors, ARBs, and/or sacubitril/valsartan is recommended.

06.4 Timing of Intervention for Chronic Aortic Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In symptomatic patients with severe aortic regurgitation (Stage D), aortic valve surgery is indicated regardless of LV systolic function.
1
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with chronic severe aortic regurgitation and LV systolic dysfunction (LVEF ≤55%) (Stage C2), aortic valve surgery is indicated if no other cause for systolic dysfunction is identified.
1
C-EO
In patients with severe aortic regurgitation (Stage C or D) who are undergoing cardiac surgery for other indications, aortic valve surgery is indicated.
2a
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe aortic regurgitation and normal LV systolic function (LVEF >55%), aortic valve surgery is reasonable when the LV is severely enlarged (LVESD >50 mm or indexed LVESD >25 mm/m2) (Stage C2).
2a
C-EO
In patients with moderate aortic regurgitation (Stage B) who are undergoing cardiac or aortic surgery for other indications, aortic valve surgery is reasonable.
2b
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe aortic regurgitation and normal LV systolic function at rest (LVEF >55%; Stage C1) and low surgical risk, aortic valve surgery may be considered when there is a progressive decline in LVEF on at least 3 serial studies to the low–normal range (LVEF 55% to 60%) or a progressive increase in LV dilation into the severe range (LVEDD >65 mm).
3: Harm
B-NR
In patients with isolated severe aortic regurgitation who have indications for SAVR and are candidates for surgery, TAVI should not be performed.

06.5 Timing of Intervention for Chronic Aortic Regurgitation


Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
AR - aortic regurgitation; AVR - aortic valve replacement; EDD - end-diastolic dimension; ERO - effective regurgitant orifice; LVEF - left ventricular ejection fraction; LVESD - left ventricular end-systolic dimension; RF - regurgitant fraction; RVol - regurgitant volume; VC - vena contracta

07 Bicuspid aortic valve


07.1 Initial Diagnosis of Bicuspid Aortic Valve

1
B-NR
In patients with a known bicuspid aortic valve, TTE is indicated to evaluate valve morphology, measure severity of AS and AR, assess the shape and diameter of the aortic sinuses and ascending aorta, and evaluate for the presence of aortic coarctation for prediction of clinical outcome and to determine timing of intervention.
1
C-LD
In patients with bicuspid aortic valve, CMR angiography or CT angiography is indicated when morphology of the aortic sinuses, sinotubular junction, or ascending aorta cannot be assessed accurately or fully by echocardiography.
2b
B-NR
In first-degree relatives of patients with a known bicuspid aortic valve, a screening TTE might be considered to look for the presence of a BAV or asymptomatic dilation of the aortic sinuses and ascending aorta.

07.2 Intervals for Imaging the Aorta in Patients with a bicuspid aortic valve


Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
BAV - bicuspid aortic valve; CTA - computed tomographic angiography; CMR - cardiac magnetic resonance; TTE - transthoracic echocardiography

07.3 Routine Follow-Up of Patients With a Bicuspid Aortic Valve

2a
C-LD
In patients with bicuspid aortic valve and a diameter of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta of ≥4.0 cm, lifelong serial evaluation of the size and morphology of the aortic sinuses and ascending aorta by echocardiography, CMR, or CT angiography is reasonable, with the examination interval determined by the degree and rate of progression of aortic dilation and by family history.
2a
B-NR
In patients with a bicuspid aortic valve who have undergone AVR, continued lifelong serial interval imaging of the aorta is reasonable if the diameter of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta is ≥4.0 cm.

07.4 Intervention for Replacement of the Aorta in Patients With a Bicuspid Aortic Valve

1
B-NR
In asymptomatic or symptomatic patients with a bicuspid aortic valve and a diameter of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta >5.5 cm, operative intervention to replace the aortic sinuses and/or the ascending aorta is recommended.
2a
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with a bicuspid aortic valve, a diameter of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta of 5.0 to 5.5 cm, and an additional risk factor for dissection (e.g., family history of aortic dissection, aortic growth rate >0.5 cm per year, aortic coarctation), operative intervention to replace the aortic sinuses and/or the ascending aorta is reasonable if the surgery is performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2a
B-NR
In patients with a bicuspid aortic valve with indications for SAVR and a diameter of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta ≥4.5 cm, replacement of the aortic sinuses and/or ascending aorta is reasonable if the surgery is performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2b
C-LD
In patients with a bicuspid aortic valve who meet criteria for replacement of the aortic sinuses, valve-sparing surgery may be considered if the surgery is performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2b
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with a bicuspid aortic valve who are at low surgical risk, have a diameter of the aortic sinuses or ascending aorta of 5.0 to 5.5 cm, and have no additional risk factors for dissection, operative intervention to replace the aortic sinuses and/or the ascending aorta may be considered if the surgery is performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.

07.5 Intervention for Replacement of the Aorta in Patients With a Bicuspid Aortic Valve


Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* Family history of aortic dissection, aortic growth rate ≥0.5 cm per year, presence of aortic coarctation.
BAV - bicuspid aortic valve; AVR - aortic valve replacement; CVC - Comprehensive Valve Center

07.6 Repair or Replacement of the Aortic Valve

2b
C-LD
In patients with bicuspid aortic valve and severe aortic regurgitation who meet criteria for AVR, aortic valve repair may be considered in selected patients if the surgery is performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2b
B-NR
In patients with bicuspid aortic valve and symptomatic, severe aortic stenosis, TAVI may be considered as an alternative to SAVR after consideration of patient-specific procedural risks, values, trade-offs, and preferences, and when the surgery is performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.

08 Mitral stenosis


08.1 Stages of Mitral Stenosis

Stage Definition Valve Anatomy Valve Hemodynamics* Hemodynamic Consequences Symptoms
A At risk of MS
  • Mild valve doming during diastole
  • Normal transmitral flow velocity
  • None
None
B Progressive MS
  • Rheumatic valve changes with commissural fusion and diastolic doming of the MV leaflets
  • Planimetered MVA >1.5 cm2
  • Increased transmitral flow velocities
  • MVA >1.5 cm2
  • Diastolic PHT <150 ms
  • Mild-to-moderate LA enlargement
  • Normal pulmonary pressure at rest
None
C Asymptomatic severe MS
  • Rheumatic valve changes with commissural fusion and diastolic doming of the MV leaflets
  • Planimetered MVA ≤1.5 cm2
  • MVA ≤1.5 cm2
  • Diastolic PHT ≥150 ms
  • Severe LA enlargement
  • Elevated PASP >50 mm Hg
None
D Symptomatic severe MS
  • Rheumatic valve changes with commissural fusion and diastolic doming of the MV leaflets
  • Planimetered MVA ≤1.5 cm2
  • MVA ≤1.5 cm2
  • Diastolic PHT ≥150 ms
  • Severe LA enlargement
  • Elevated PASP >50 mm Hg
  • Decreased exercise tolerance
  • Exertional dyspnea
* The transmitral ΔPmean should be obtained to further determine the hemodynamic effect of the MS and is usually >5–10 mm Hg in severe MS. However, due to the variability of the ΔPmean with heart rate and forward flow, it has not been included in the criteria for severity.

08.2 Initial Diagnosis of Rheumatic Mitral Stenosis

1
B-NR
In patients with signs or symptoms of rheumatic mitral stenosis, TTE is indicated to establish the diagnosis, quantify hemodynamic severity, assess concomitant valvular lesions, and demonstrate valve morphology (to determine suitability for mitral commissurotomy).
1
C-LD
In patients considered for percutaneous mitral balloon commissurotomy, TEE should be performed to assess the presence or absence of LA thrombus and to evaluate the severity of mitral regurgitation

08.3 Exercise Testing in Patients With Rheumatic Mitral Stenosis

1
C-LD
In patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis and a discrepancy between resting echocardiographic findings and clinical symptoms, exercise testing with Doppler or invasive hemodynamic assessment is recommended to evaluate symptomatic response, exercise capacity, and the response of the mean mitral gradient and pulmonary artery pressure.

08.4 Medical Therapy in Patients With Rheumatic Mitral Stenosis

1
C-LD
In patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis and 1) atrial fibrillation, 2) a prior embolic event, or 3) an LA thrombus, anticoagulation with a VKA is indicated.
2a
C-LD
In patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis and atrial fibrillation with a rapid ventricular response, heart rate control can be beneficial.
2a
A
In patients with rheumatic mitral stenosis in normal sinus rhythm with symptomatic resting or exertional sinus tachycardia, heart rate control can be beneficial to manage symptoms.

08.5 Intervention for Rheumatic Mitral Stenosis

1
A
In symptomatic patients (NYHA class II, III, or IV) with severe rheumatic mitral stenosis (mitral valve area ≤1.5 cm2, Stage D) and favorable valve morphology with less than moderate (2+) mitral regurgitation* in the absence of LA thrombus, PMBC is recommended if it can be performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
1
B-NR
In severely symptomatic patients (NYHA class III or IV) with severe rheumatic mitral stenosis (mitral valve area ≤1.5 cm2, Stage D) who 1) are not candidates for PMBC, 2) have failed a previous PMBC, 3) require other cardiac procedures, or 4) do not have access to PMBC, mitral valve surgery (repair, commissurotomy, or valve replacement) is indicated.
2a
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe rheumatic mitral stenosis (mitral valve area ≤1.5 cm2, Stage C) and favorable valve morphology with less than 2+ mitral regurgitation in the absence of LA thrombus who have elevated pulmonary pressures (pulmonary artery systolic pressure >50 mm Hg), PMBC is reasonable if it can be performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2b
C-LD
In asymptomatic patients with severe rheumatic mitral stenosis (mitral valve area ≤1.5 cm2, Stage C) and favorable valve morphology with less than 2+ mitral regurgitation* in the absence of LA thrombus who have new onset of atrial fibrillation, PMBC may be considered if it can be performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2b
C-LD
In symptomatic patients (NYHA class II, III, or IV) with rheumatic mitral stenosis and an mitral valve area >1.5 cm2, if there is evidence of hemodynamically significant rheumatic MS on the basis of a pulmonary artery wedge pressure >25 mm Hg or a mean mitral valve gradient >15 mm Hg during exercise, PMBC may be considered if it can be performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2b
B-NR
In severely symptomatic patients (NYHA class III or IV) with severe rheumatic mitral stenosis (mitral valve area ≤1.5 cm2, Stage D) who have a suboptimal valve anatomy and who are not candidates for surgery or are at high risk for surgery, PMBC may be considered if it can be performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
*2+ on a 0 to 4+ scale according to Sellar’s criteria or less than moderate by Doppler echocardiography.

08.6 Intervention for Rheumatic Mitral Stenosis


Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* Repair, commissurotomy, or valve replacement.
AF - atrial fibrillation; CVC - Comprehensive Valve Center; MR - mitral regurgitation; MS - mitral stenosis; MV - mitral valve; MVA - mitral valve area; NYHA - New York Heart Association; PASP - pulmonary artery systolic pressure; PMBC - percutaneous mitral balloon commissurotomy

08.7 Nonrheumatic Calcific Mitral Stenosis

2b
C-LD
In severely symptomatic patients (NYHA class III or IV) with severe mitral stenosis (mitral valve area ≤1.5 cm2, Stage D) attributable to extensive mitral annular calcification, valve intervention may be considered only after discussion of the high procedural risk and the individual patient’s preferences and values.

09 Mitral Regurgitation


09.1 Stages of Chronic Primary Mitral Regurgitation

Stage Definition Valve Anatomy Valve Hemodynamics* Hemodynamic Consequences Symptoms
A At risk of MR
  • Mild MV prolapse with normal coaptation
  • Mild valve thickening and leaflet restriction
  • No MR jet or small central jet area <20% LA on Doppler
  • Small vena contracta <0.3 cm
None None
B Progressive MR
  • Moderate to severe MV prolapse with normal coaptation
  • Rheumatic valve changes with leaflet restriction and loss of central coaptation
  • Prior infective endocarditis
  • Central jet MR 20%–40% LA or late systolic eccentric jet MR
  • Vena contracta <0.7 cm
  • RVol <60 mL
  • RF <50%
  • ERO <0.40 cm2
  • Angiographic grade 1+ to 2+
  • Mild LA enlargement
  • No LV enlargement
  • Normal pulmonary pressure
None
C Asymptomatic severe MR
  • Severe MV prolapse with loss of coaptation or flail leaflet
  • Rheumatic valve changes with leaflet restriction and loss of central coaptation
  • Prior infective endocarditis
  • Thickening of leaflets with radiation heart disease
  • Central jet MR >40% LA or holosystolic eccentric jet MR
  • Vena contracta ≥0.7 cm
  • RVol ≥60 mL
  • RF ≥50%
  • ERO ≥0.40 cm2
  • Angiographic grade 3+ to 4+
  • Moderate or severe LA enlargement
  • LV enlargement
  • PHTN may be present at rest or with exercise
  • C1: LVEF >60% and LVESD <40 mm
  • C2: LVEF ≤60% and/or LVESD ≥40 mm
None
D Symptomatic severe MR
  • Severe MV prolapse with loss of coaptation or flail leaflet
  • Rheumatic valve changes with leaflet restriction and loss of central coaptation
  • Prior infective endocarditis
  • Thickening of leaflets with radiation heart disease
  • Central jet MR >40% LA or holosystolic eccentric jet MR
  • Vena contracta ≥0.7 cm
  • RVol ≥60 mL
  • RF ≥50%
  • ERO ≥0.40 cm2
  • Angiographic grade 3+ to 4+
  • Moderate or severe LA enlargement
  • LV enlargement
  • PHTN present
  • Decreased exercise tolerance
  • Exertional dyspnea
* Several valve hemodynamic criteria are provided for assessment of MR severity, but not all criteria for each category will be present in each patient. Categorization of MR severity as mild, moderate, or severe depends on data quality and integration of these parameters in conjunction with other clinical evidence.

09.2 Initial Diagnosis of Chronic Mitral Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In patients with known or suspected primary mitral regurgitation, TTE is indicated for baseline evaluation of LV size and function, RV function, LA size, pulmonary artery pressure, and the mechanism and severity of primary MR (Stages A to D).
1
C-EO
In patients with primary mitral regurgitation, when TTE provides insufficient or discordant information, TEE is indicated for evaluation of the severity of MR, mechanism of MR, and status of LV function (Stages B to D).
1
B-NR
In patients with primary mitral regurgitation, CMR is indicated to assess LV and RV volumes and function and may help with assessing MR severity when there is a discrepancy between the findings on clinical assessment and echocardiography.
1
B-NR
In patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation undergoing mitral intervention, intraoperative TEE is indicated to establish the anatomic basis for primary MR (Stages C and D) and to guide repair.

09.3 Changing Signs or Symptoms in Patients With Primary Mitral Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In patients with primary mitral regurgitation (Stages B to D) and new-onset or changing symptoms, TTE is indicated to evaluate the mitral valve apparatus and LV function.

09.4 Routine Follow-Up for Chronic Primary Mitral Regurgitation

1
B-NR
For asymptomatic patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation (Stages B and C1), TTE is indicated every 6 to 12 months for surveillance of LV function (estimated by LVEF, LVEDD, and LVESD) and assessment of pulmonary artery pressure.
2b
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation (Stages B and C1), use of serum biomarkers and novel measurements of LV function, such as global longitudinal strain, may be considered as an adjunct to guide timing of intervention.

09.5 Exercise Testing for Chronic Primary Mitral Regurgitation

2a
B-NR
In patients with primary mitral regurgitation (Stages B and C) and symptoms that might be attributable to MR, hemodynamic exercise testing using Doppler echocardiography or cardiac catheterization or cardiopulmonary exercise testing is reasonable.

09.6 Medical Therapy for Chronic Primary Mitral Regurgitation

2a
B-NR
In symptomatic or asymptomatic patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation and LV systolic dysfunction (Stages C2 and D) in whom surgery is not possible or must be delayed, GDMT for systolic dysfunction is reasonable.
3: No Benefit
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with primary mitral regurgitation and normal LV systolic function (Stages B and C1), vasodilator therapy is not indicated if the patient is normotensive.

09.7 Intervention for Chronic Primary Mitral Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In symptomatic patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation (Stage D), mitral valve intervention is recommended irrespective of LV systolic function.
1
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation and LV systolic dysfunction (LVEF ≤60%, LVESD ≥40 mm) (Stage C2), mitral valve surgery is recommended.
1
B-NR
In patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation for whom surgery is indicated, mitral valve repair is recommended in preference to mitral valve replacement when the anatomic cause of MR is degenerative disease, if a successful and durable repair is possible.
2a
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation and normal LV systolic function (LVEF ≥60% and LVESD ≤40 mm) (Stage C1), mitral valve repair is reasonable when the likelihood of a successful and durable repair without residual MR is >95% with an expected mortality rate of <1%, when it can be performed at a Primary or Comprehensive Valve Center.
2b
C-LD
In asymptomatic patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation and normal LV systolic function (LVEF >60% and LVESD <40 mm) (Stage C1) but with a progressive increase in LV size or decrease in LVEF on ≥3 serial imaging studies, mitral valve surgery may be considered irrespective of the probability of a successful and durable repair.
2a
B-NR
In severely symptomatic patients (NYHA class III or IV) with primary severe mitral regurgitation and high or prohibitive surgical risk, transcatheter edge-to-edge repair is reasonable if mitral valve anatomy is favorable for the repair procedure and patient life expectancy is at least 1 year.
2b
B-NR
In symptomatic patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation attributable to rheumatic valve disease, mitral valve repair may be considered at a Comprehensive Valve Center by an experienced team when surgical treatment is indicated, if a durable and successful repair is likely.
3: Harm
B-NR
In patients with severe primary mitral regurgitation where leaflet pathology is limited to less than one half the posterior leaflet, mitral valve replacement should not be performed unless mitral valve repair has been attempted at a Primary or Comprehensive Valve Center and was unsuccessful.

09.8 Primary Mitral Regurgitation

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* See Prosthetic Valve section (11.1.2) for choice of mitral valve replacement if mitral valve repair is not possible.
CVC - Comprehensive Valve Center; ERO - effective regurgitant orifice; ESD - end-systolic dimension; LVEF - ejection fraction; MR - mitral regurgitation; MV - mitral valve; MVR - mitral valve replacement; RF - regurgitant fraction; RVol - regurgitant volume; VC - vena contracta.

09.9 Stages of Secondary Mitral Regurgitation

Stage Definition Valve Anatomy Valve Hemodynamics* Associated Cardiac Findings Symptoms
A At risk of MR
  • Normal valve leaflets, chords, and annulus in a patient with coronary disease or cardiomyopathy
  • No MR jet or small central jet area <20% LA on Doppler
  • Small vena contracta <0.30 cm
  • Normal or mildly dilated LV size with fixed (infarction) or inducible (ischemia) regional wall motion abnormalities
  • Primary myocardial disease with LV dilation and systolic dysfunction
  • Symptoms attributable to coronary ischemia or HF may be present that respond to revascularization and appropriate medical therapy
B Progressive MR
  • Regional wall motion abnormalities with mild tethering of mitral leaflet
  • Annular dilation with mild loss of central coaptation of the mitral leaflets
  • ERO <0.40 cm2 †
  • RVol <60 mL
  • Regurgitant fraction <50%
  • Regional wall motion abnormalities with reduced LV systolic function
  • LV dilation and systolic dysfunction attributable to primary myocardial disease
  • Symptoms attributable to coronary ischemia or HF may be present that respond to revascularization and appropriate medical therapy
C Asymptomatic severe MR
  • Regional wall motion abnormalities and/or LV dilation with severe tethering of mitral leaflet
  • Annular dilation with severe loss of central coaptation of the mitral leaflets
  • ERO ≥0.40 cm2 †
  • RVol ≥60 mL
  • Regurgitant fraction ≥50%
  • Regional wall motion abnormalities with reduced LV systolic function
  • LV dilation and systolic dysfunction attributable to primary myocardial disease
  • Symptoms attributable to coronary ischemia or HF may be present that respond to revascularization and appropriate medical therapy
D Symptomatic severe MR
  • Regional wall motion abnormalities and/or LV dilation with severe tethering of mitral leaflet
  • Annular dilation with severe loss of central coaptation of the mitral leaflets
  • ERO ≥0.40 cm2 †
  • RVol ≥60 mL
  • Regurgitant fraction ≥50%
  • Regional wall motion abnormalities with reduced LV systolic function
  • LV dilation and systolic dysfunction attributable to primary myocardial disease
  • HF symptoms attributable to MR persist even after revascularization and optimization of medical therapy
  • Decreased exercise tolerance
  • Exertional dyspnea
* Several valve hemodynamic criteria are provided for assessment of MR severity, but not all criteria for each category will be present in each patient. Categorization of MR severity as mild, moderate, or severe depends on data quality and integration of these parameters in conjunction with other clinical evidence.
The measurement of the proximal isovelocity surface area by 2D TTE in patients with secondary MR underestimates the true ERO because of the crescentic shape of the proximal convergence.
May be lower in low-flow states.

09.10 Diagnosis of Secondary Mitral Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In patients with chronic secondary mitral regurgitation (Stages B to D), TTE is useful to establish the etiology and to assess the extent of regional and global LV remodeling and systolic dysfunction, severity of MR, and magnitude of pulmonary hypertension.
1
C-EO
In patients with chronic secondary mitral regurgitation (Stages B to D), noninvasive imaging (stress nuclear/PET, CMR, or stress echocardiography), coronary CT angiography, or coronary arteriography is useful to establish etiology of MR and to assess myocardial viability.
1
B-NR
In patients with chronic secondary mitral regurgitation with severe symptoms (Stage D) that are unresponsive to GDMT who are being considered for transcatheter mitral valve interventions, TEE is indicated to determine suitability for the procedure.
1
C-EO
In patients with chronic secondary mitral regurgitation undergoing transcatheter mitral valve intervention, intraprocedural guidance with TEE is recommended.

09.11 Medical Therapy for Secondary Mitral Regurgitation

1
A
Patients with chronic severe secondary mitral regurgitation (Stages C and D) and HF with reduced LVEF should receive standard GDMT for HF, including ACE inhibitors, ARBs, beta blockers, aldosterone antagonists, and/or sacubitril/valsartan, and biventricular pacing as indicated.
1
C-EO
In patients with chronic severe secondary mitral regurgitation and HF with reduced LVEF, a cardiologist expert in the management of patients with HF and LV systolic dysfunction should be the primary multidisciplinary team member responsible for implementing and monitoring optimal GDMT.

09.12 Intervention for Secondary Mitral Regurgitation

2a
B-R
In patients with chronic severe secondary mitral regurgitation related to LV systolic dysfunction (LVEF <50%) who have persistent symptoms (NYHA class II, III, or IV) while on optimal GDMT for HF (Stage D), transcatheter edge-to-edge mitral valve repair is reasonable in patients with appropriate anatomy as defined on TEE and with LVEF between 20% and 50%, LVESD ≤70 mm, and pulmonary artery systolic pressure ≤70 mm Hg.
2a
B-NR
In patients with severe secondary mitral regurgitation (Stages C and D), mitral valve surgery is reasonable when CABG is undertaken for the treatment of myocardial ischemia.
2b
B-NR
In patients with chronic severe secondary mitral regurgitation from atrial annular dilation with preserved LV systolic function (LVEF ≥50%) who have severe persistent symptoms (NYHA class III or IV) despite therapy for HF and therapy for associated atrial fibrillation or other comorbidities (Stage D), mitral valve surgery may be considered.
2b
B-NR
In patients with chronic severe secondary mitral regurgitation related to LV systolic dysfunction (LVEF <50%) who have persistent severe symptoms (NYHA class III or IV) while on optimal GDMT for HF (Stage D), mitral valve surgery may be considered.
2b
B-R
In patients with CAD and chronic severe secondary mitral regurgitation related to LV systolic dysfunction (LVEF <50%) (Stage D) who are undergoing mitral valve surgery because of severe symptoms (NYHA class III or IV) that persist despite GDMT for HF, chordal-sparing mitral valve replacement may be reasonable to choose over downsized annuloplasty repair.

09.13 Secondary Mitral Regurgitation


Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* Chordal sparing mitral valve replacement may be reasonable to choose over downsided annuloplasty repair.
AF - atrial fibrillation; CABG - coronary artery bypass graft; ERO - effective regurgitant orifice; GDMT - guideline-directed management and therapy; HF - heart failure; LVEF - left ventricular ejection fraction; LVESD - left ventricular end-systolic dimension; MR - mitral regurgitation; MV - mitral valve; PASP - pulmonary artery systolic pressure; RF - regurgitant fraction; RVol - regurgitant volume; Rx - medication.

10 Tricuspid Regurgitation


10.1 Classification of Tricuspid Regurgitation

Primary Secondary
  • Rheumatic
  • Infective endocarditis
  • Iatrogenic (device leads, endomyocardial biopsy)
  • Congenital (e.g., Ebstein’s, levo-transposition of the great arteries)
  • Other (trauma, carcinoid, drugs, irradiation, etc.)
  • Pulmonary hypertension with RV remodeling (primary or secondary to left-sided heart disease)
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Annular dilation (associated with atrial fibrillation)*
  • RV volume overload (shunts/ high output)
* Isolated tricuspid regurgitation is associated with atrial fibrillation and has LVEF >60%, pulmonary artery systolic pressure <50 mm Hg, and no left-sided valve disease, with normal-appearing tricuspid valve leaflets.

10.2 Stages of Tricuspid Regurgitation

Stage Definition Valve Hemodynamics Hemodynamic Consequences Clinical Symptoms and Presentation
B Progressive TR
  • Central jet <50% RA
  • Vena contracta width <0.7 cm
  • ERO <0.40 cm2
  • Regurgitant volume <45 mL
  • None
  • None
C Asymptomatic severe TR
  • Central jet ≥50% RA
  • Vena contracta width ≥0.7 cm
  • ERO ≥0.40 cm2
  • Regurgitant volume ≥45 mL
  • Dense continuous wave signal with triangular shape
  • Hepatic vein systolic flow reversal
  • Dilated RV and RA
  • Elevated RA with “c-V” (systolic positive) wave
  • Elevated venous pressure
  • No symptoms
D Symptomatic severe TR
  • Central jet ≥50% RA
  • Vena contracta width ≥0.7 cm
  • ERO ≥0.40 cm2
  • Regurgitant volume ≥45 mL
  • Dense continuous wave signal with triangular shape
  • Hepatic vein systolic flow reversal
  • Dilated RV and RA
  • Elevated RA with “c-V” (systolic positive) wave
  • Elevated venous pressure
  • Dyspnea on exertion, fatigue, ascites, edema

10.3 Diagnosis of Tricuspid Regurgitation

1
C-LD
In patients with tricuspid regurgitation, TTE is indicated to evaluate the presence and severity of TR, determine the etiology, measure the sizes of the right-sided chambers and inferior vena cava, assess RV systolic function, estimate pulmonary artery systolic pressure, and characterize any associated left-sided heart disease.
2a
C-LD
In patients with tricuspid regurgitation, invasive measurement of the cardiac index, right-sided diastolic pressures, pulmonary artery pressures, and pulmonary vascular resistance, as well as right ventriculography, can be useful when clinical and noninvasive data are discordant or inadequate.

10.4 Medical Therapy for Tricuspid Regurgitation

2a
C-EO
In patients with signs and symptoms of right-sided HF attributable to severe tricuspid regurgitation (Stages C and D), diuretics can be useful.
2a
C-EO
In patients with signs and symptoms of right-sided HF attributable to severe secondary tricuspid regurgitation (Stages C and D), therapies to treat the primary cause of HF (e.g., pulmonary vasodilators to reduce elevated pulmonary artery pressures, GDMT for HF with reduced LVEF, or rhythm control of atrial fibrillation) can be useful.

10.5 Timing of Intervention of Tricuspid Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In patients with severe tricuspid regurgitation (Stages C and D) undergoing left-sided valve surgery, tricuspid valve surgery is recommended.
2a
B-NR
In patients with progressive tricuspid regurgitation (Stage B) undergoing left-sided valve surgery, tricuspid valve surgery can be beneficial in the context of either 1) tricuspid annular dilation (tricuspid annulus end diastolic diameter >4.0 cm) or 2) prior signs and symptoms of right-sided HF.
2a
B-NR
In patients with signs and symptoms of right-sided HF and severe primary tricuspid regurgitation (Stage D), isolated tricuspid valve surgery can be beneficial to reduce symptoms and recurrent hospitalizations.
2a
B-NR
In patients with signs and symptoms of right-sided HF and severe isolated secondary tricuspid regurgitation attributable to annular dilation (in the absence of pulmonary hypertension or left-sided disease) who are poorly responsive to medical therapy (Stage D), isolated tricuspid valve surgery can be beneficial to reduce symptoms and recurrent hospitalizations.
2b
C-LD
In asymptomatic patients with severe primary tricuspid regurgitation (Stage C) and progressive RV dilation or systolic dysfunction, isolated tricuspid valve surgery may be considered.
2b
B-NR
In patients with signs and symptoms of right-sided HF and severe tricuspid regurgitation (Stage D) who have undergone previous left-sided valve surgery, reoperation with isolated tricuspid valve surgery may be considered in the absence of severe pulmonary hypertension or severe RV systolic dysfunction.

10.6 Tricuspid Regurgitation

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
GDMT - indicates guideline-directed management and therapy; HF - heart failure; PAP - pulmonary artery pressure; PH - pulmonary hypertension; RV - right ventricular; TR - tricuspid regurgitation; TV - tricuspid valve

11 Mixed Valve Disease


11.1 Diagnosis and Follow-Up of Patients With Mixed Valve Disease

1
C-EO
For patients with mixed valve disease, TTE is recommended to assess the etiology, severity, and pathophysiological impact.
2a
C-EO
In patients with ambiguous symptoms that are suspected to be attributable to mixed mitral valve disease, further assessment of filling pressure by using biomarkers or invasive hemodynamic measurements at rest or with exercise is reasonable.

11.2 Timing of Intervention for Mixed Aortic Stenosis and Aortic Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In symptomatic patients with combined aortic stenosis and aortic regurgitation and a peak transvalvular jet velocity of at least 4.0 m/s or a mean transvalvular gradient of at least 40 mm Hg, AVR is recommended.
1
C-EO
In asymptomatic patients with combined aortic stenosis and aortic regurgitation who have a jet velocity of ≥4.0 m/s with an LVEF <50%, SAVR is recommended.

11.3 Aortic Stenosis and Mitral Regurgitation Mixed Valve Disease

Severe AS Severe MR Surgical Risk Procedure
SAVR candidate
  • Primary MR
  • Repairable valve
Low intermediate
SAVR candidate
  • Primary MR
  • Valve not repairable
Low intermediate
  • SAVR
  • Surgical MV replacement
TAVI candidate
  • Primary
  • Repairable valve
High prohibitive
SAVR candidate
TAVI candidate
Secondary MR Low intermediate
TAVI candidate Secondary MR High prohibitive
* Consider TEER as a later staged procedure if symptoms and severe MR persist after treatment of the AS.

12 Prosthetic valves


12.1 Diagnosis and Follow-Up of Prosthetic Valves

1
B-NR
In patients with a surgical or transcatheter prosthetic valve and in patients who have had valve repair, an initial postprocedural TTE study is recommended for evaluation of valve hemodynamics and ventricular function.
1
C-EO
In patients with a prosthetic valve or prior valve repair and a change in clinical symptoms or signs suggesting valve dysfunction, repeat TTE is recommended.
1
C-LD
In patients with a prosthetic valve replacement or prior valve repair and clinical symptoms or signs that suggest prosthetic valve dysfunction, additional imaging with TEE, gated cardiac CT, or fluoroscopy is recommended, even if TTE does not show valve dysfunction.
2a
C-LD
In patients with a bioprosthetic surgical valve, TTE at 5 and 10 years and then annually after implantation is reasonable, even in the absence of a change in clinical status.
2a
C-LD
In patients with a bioprosthetic TAVI, TTE annually is reasonable.

12.2 Prosthetic Valve Type: Bioprosthetic Versus Mechanical Valve

1
C-LD
For patients who require heart valve replacement, the choice of prosthetic valve should be based on a shared decision-making process that accounts for the patient’s values and preferences and includes discussion of the indications for and risks of anticoagulant therapy and the potential need for and risks associated with valve reintervention.
1
C-EO
For patients of any age requiring valve replacement for whom anticoagulant therapy is contraindicated, cannot be managed appropriately, or is not desired, a bioprosthetic valve is recommended.
2a
B-NR
For patients <50 years of age who do not have a contraindication to anticoagulation and require AVR, it is reasonable to choose a mechanical aortic prosthesis over a bioprosthetic valve.
2a
B-NR
For patients 50 to 65 years of age who require AVR and who do not have a contraindication to anticoagulation, it is reasonable to individualize the choice of either a mechanical or bioprosthetic AVR, with consideration of individual patient factors and after informed shared decision-making.
2a
B-NR
In patients >65 years of age who require AVR, it is reasonable to choose a bioprosthesis over a mechanical valve.
2a
B-NR
For patients <65 years of age who have an indication for mitral valve replacement, do not have a contraindication to anticoagulation, and are unable to undergo mitral valve repair, it is reasonable to choose a mechanical mitral prosthesis over a bioprosthetic valve.
2a
B-NR
For patients ≥65 years of age who require mitral valve replacement and are unable to undergo mitral valve repair, it is reasonable to choose a bioprosthesis over a mechanical valve.
2b
B-NR
In patients <50 years of age who prefer a bioprosthetic AVR and have appropriate anatomy, replacement of the aortic valve by a pulmonic autograft (the Ross procedure) may be considered at a Comprehensive Valve Center.

12.3 Selected Factors That May Impact Shared Decision-Making for the Choice of Prosthetic Valve

Favor Mechanical Prosthesis Favor Bioprosthesis
Age <50 y
  • Increased incidence of structural deterioration with bioprosthesis (15 y risk: 30% for age 40 y, 50% for age 20 y)
  • Lower risk of anticoagulation complications
Age >65 y
  • Low incidence of structural deterioration (15 y risk: <10% for age >70 y)
  • Higher risk of anticoagulation complications
Patient preference (avoid risk of reintervention) Patient preference (avoid risk and inconvenience of anticoagulation)
Low risk of long-term anticoagulation High risk of long-term anticoagulation
Compliant patient with either home monitoring or close access to INR monitoring Limited access to medical care or inability to regulate VKA
Other indication for long-term anticoagulation (e.g., atrial fibrillation) Access to surgical centers with low reoperation mortality rate
High-risk reintervention (e.g., porcelain aorta, prior radiation therapy) Access to transcatheter valve-in-valve replacement
Small aortic root size for AVR (may preclude valve-in-valve procedure in future) TAVI valves have larger effective orifice areas for smaller valve sizes (avoid patient–prosthesis mismatch)

12.4 Prosthetic Valves: Choice of Bioprosthetic versus Mechanical Valve type

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* Approximate ages, based on U.S. Actuarial Life Expectancy tables, are provided for guidance. The balance between expected patient longevity and valve durability varies continuously across the age range, with more durable valves preferred for patients with a longer life expectancy. Bioprosthetic valve durability is finite (with shorter durability for younger patients), whereas mechanical valves are very durable but require lifelong anticoagulation. Long-term (20-y) data on outcomes with surgical bioprosthetic valves are available; robust data on transcatheter bioprosthetic valves extend to only 5 y, leading to uncertainty about longer-term outcomes. The decision about valve type should be individualized on the basis of patient-specific factors that might affect expected longevity.
See Section 05.8 for a discussion of the choice of TAVI versus SAVR.
AVR - aortic valve replacement; CVC - Comprehensive Valve Center; VKA - vitamin K antagonist; SAVR - surgical aortic valve replacement; TAVI - transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

12.5 Antithrombotic Therapy for Prosthetic Valves

1
A
In patients with a mechanical prosthetic valve, anticoagulation with a VKA is recommended.
1
B-NR
For patients with a mechanical bileaflet or current-generation single-tilting disk AVR and no risk factors for thromboembolism, anticoagulation with a VKA to achieve an INR of 2.5 is recommended.
1
B-NR
For patients with a mechanical AVR and additional risk factors for thromboembolism (e.g., atrial fibrillation, previous thromboembolism, LV dysfunction, hypercoagulable state) or an older-generation prosthesis (e.g., ball-in-cage), anticoagulation with a VKA is indicated to achieve an INR of 3.0.
1
B-NR
For patients with a mechanical mitral valve replacement, anticoagulation with a VKA is indicated to achieve an INR of 3.0.
2a
B-R
For patients with a bioprosthetic TAVI, aspirin 75 to 100 mg daily is reasonable in the absence of other indications for oral anticoagulants.
2a
B-NR
For all patients with a bioprosthetic SAVR or mitral valve replacement, aspirin 75 to 100 mg daily is reasonable in the absence of other indications for oral anticoagulants.
2a
B-NR
For patients with a bioprosthetic SAVR or mitral valve replacement who are at low risk of bleeding, anticoagulation with a VKA to achieve an INR of 2.5 is reasonable for at least 3 months and for as long as 6 months after surgical replacement.
2b
B-R
For patients with a mechanical SAVR or mitral valve replacement who are managed with a VKA and have an indication for antiplatelet therapy, addition of aspirin 75 to 100 mg daily may be considered when the risk of bleeding is low.
2b
B-R
For patients with a mechanical On-X AVR and no thromboembolic risk factors, use of a VKA targeted to a lower INR (1.5–2.0) may be reasonable starting ≥3 months after surgery, with continuation of aspirin 75 to 100 mg daily.
2b
B-NR
For patients with a bioprosthetic TAVI who are at low risk of bleeding, dual-antiplatelet therapy with aspirin 75 to 100 mg and clopidogrel 75 mg may be reasonable for 3 to 6 months after valve implantation.
2b
B-NR
For patients with a bioprosthetic TAVI who are at low risk of bleeding, anticoagulation with a VKA to achieve an INR of 2.5 may be reasonable for at least 3 months after valve implantation.
3: Harm
B-R
For patients with bioprosthetic TAVI, treatment with low-dose rivaroxaban (10 mg daily) plus aspirin (75–100 mg) is contraindicated in the absence of other indications for oral anticoagulants.
3: Harm
B-R
For patients with a mechanical valve prosthesis, anticoagulation with the direct thrombin inhibitor, dabigatran, is contraindicated.
3: Harm
C-EO
For patients with a mechanical valve prosthesis, the use of anti-Xa direct oral anticoagulants has not been assessed and is not recommended.

12.6 Antithrombotic Therapy for Prosthetic Valves

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* Thromboembolic risk factors include an older-generation valve, atrial fibrillation, previous thromboembolism, hypercoagulable state, and LV systolic dysfunction.
For a mechanical On-X AVR and no thromboembolic risk factors, a goal INR of 1.5–2.0 plus aspirin 75–100 mg daily may be reasonable starting ≥3 months after surgery.
ASA - aspirin; AVR - aortic valve replacement; INR - international normalized ratio; MVR - mitral valve replacement; VKA - vitamin K antagonist; Rx - medication; TAVI - transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

12.7 Bridging Therapy During Interruption of Oral Anticoagulation in Patients With Prosthetic Heart Valves

1
C-EO
For patients with mechanical heart valves who are undergoing minor procedures (e.g., dental extractions or cataract removal) where bleeding is easily controlled, continuation of VKA anticoagulation with a therapeutic INR is recommended.
1
C-LD
For patients with a bileaflet mechanical AVR and no other risk factors for thromboembolism who are undergoing invasive procedures, temporary interruption of VKA anticoagulation, without bridging agents while the INR is subtherapeutic, is recommended.
2a
C-LD
For patients with a mechanical valve prosthesis receiving VKA therapy who require immediate/emergency noncardiac surgery or an invasive procedure, administration of 4-factor prothrombin complex concentrate (or its activated form) is reasonable.
2a
C-LD
For patients with bioprosthetic heart valves or annuloplasty rings who are receiving anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation, it is reasonable to consider the need for bridging anticoagulant therapy around the time of invasive procedures on the basis of the CHA2DS2-VASc score weighed against the risk of bleeding.
2a
C-LD
For patients who are undergoing invasive procedures and have 1) a mechanical AVR and any thromboembolic risk factor, 2) an older-generation mechanical AVR, or 3) a mechanical mitral valve replacement, bridging anticoagulation therapy during the preoperative time interval when the INR is subtherapeutic is reasonable on an individualized basis, with the risks of bleeding weighed against the benefits of thromboembolism prevention.

12.8 Management of Excessive Anticoagulation and Serious Bleeding in Patients With Prosthetic Valves

2a
C-LD
For patients with mechanical valves and uncontrollable bleeding who require immediate reversal of anticoagulation, administration of 4-factor prothrombin complex (or its activated form) is reasonable.
2a
C-LD
For patients with mechanical valves and uncontrollable bleeding who have received 4-factor prothrombin concentrate complex, adjunctive use of intravenous vitamin K is reasonable if resumption of VKA therapy is not anticipated for 7 days.
2a
B-NR
For patients with bioprosthetic valves or annuloplasty rings who are receiving a direct oral anticoagulant and who require immediate reversal of anticoagulation because of uncontrollable bleeding, treatment with idarucizumab (for dabigatran) or andexanet alfa (for anti-Xa agents) is reasonable.
2b
C-LD
For patients with a mechanical prosthetic valve and supratherapeutic INR (>5.0) who are not actively bleeding, the benefit of individualized treatment with oral vitamin K, in addition to temporary withdrawal of the VKA, is uncertain.

12.9 Management of Thromboembolic Events With Prosthetic Valves

2a
C-EO
In patients with a mechanical AVR who experience a stroke or systemic embolic event while in therapeutic range on VKA anticoagulation, it is reasonable to increase the INR goal from 2.5 (range, 2.0–3.0) to 3.0 (range, 2.5–3.5) or to add daily low-dose aspirin (75–100 mg), with assessment of bleeding risk.
2a
C-EO
In patients with a mechanical mitral valve replacement who experience a stroke or systemic embolic event while in therapeutic range on VKA anticoagulation, it is reasonable to increase the INR goal from 3.0 (range, 2.5–3.5) to 4.0 (range, 3.5–4.0) or to add daily low-dose aspirin (75–100 mg), with assessment of bleeding risk.
2b
C-EO
In patients with a bioprosthetic surgical or transcatheter aortic valve or bioprosthetic mitral valve who experience a stroke or systemic embolic event while on antiplatelet therapy, VKA anticoagulation, instead of antiplatelet therapy may be considered after assessment of bleeding risk.

12.10 Management of Thromboembolic Events With Prosthetic Valves

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
3D - 3-dimensional; 4D - 4-dimensional; AVR - aortic valve replacement; CT - computed tomography; INR - international normalized ratio; MVR - mitral valve replacement; Rx - medication; TEE - transesophageal echocardiography; TTE - transthoracic echocardiography; VKA - vitamin K antagonist.

12.11 Diagnosis of Acute Mechanical Valve Thrombosis

1
B-NR
In patients with suspected mechanical prosthetic valve thrombosis, urgent evaluation with TTE, TEE, fluoroscopy, and/or multidetector CT imaging is indicated to assess valve function, leaflet motion, and the presence and extent of thrombus.

12.12 Intervention for Mechanical Prosthetic Valve Thrombosis

1
B-NR
For patients with a thrombosed left-sided mechanical prosthetic heart valve who present with symptoms of valve obstruction, urgent initial treatment with either slow-infusion, low-dose fibrinolytic therapy or emergency surgery is recommended.

12.13 Systemic Fibrinolysis Versus Surgery for Prosthetic Valve Thrombosis

Favor Surgery Favor Fibrinolysis
Readily available surgical expertise No surgical expertise available
Low surgical risk High surgical risk
Contraindication to fibrinolysis No contraindication to fibrinolysis
Recurrent valve thrombosis First-time episode of valve thrombosis
NYHA class IV NYHA class I, II, or III
Large clot (>0.8 cm2) Small clot (≤0.8 cm2)
LA thrombus No LA thrombus
Concomitant CAD in need of revascularization No or mild CAD
Other valve disease No other valve disease
Possible pannus Thrombus visualized
Patient choice Patient choice

12.14 Diagnosis of Bioprosthetic Valve Thrombosis

2a
C-LD
In patients with suspected bioprosthetic valve thrombosis, 3D TEE or 4D CT imaging can be useful to rule out leaflet thrombosis.

12.15 Medical Therapy of Bioprosthetic Valve Thrombosis

2a
B-NR
In patients with suspected or confirmed bioprosthetic valve thrombosis who are hemodynamically stable and have no contraindications to anticoagulation, initial treatment with a VKA is reasonable.

12.16 Diagnosis of Prosthetic Valve Stenosis

1
B-NR
In patients with suspected mechanical or bioprosthetic valve stenosis, TTE and TEE are recommended to diagnosis the cause and severity of valve obstruction, assess ventricular function, and estimate pulmonary artery systolic pressure.
1
C-EO
In patients with mechanical valve stenosis, fluoroscopy or cine-CT is recommended to assess motion of the mechanical valve leaflets.
2a
C-LD
In patients with bioprosthetic valve stenosis, 3D TEE or 4D CT imaging can be useful to rule out leaflet thrombosis.

12.17 Intervention for Prosthetic Valve Stenosis

1
B-NR
In patients with symptomatic severe stenosis of a bioprosthetic or mechanical prosthetic valve, repeat surgical intervention is indicated unless surgical risk is high or prohibitive.
2a
B-NR
For severely symptomatic patients with bioprosthetic aortic valve stenosis and high or prohibitive surgical risk, a transcatheter valve-in-valve procedure is reasonable when performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2a
B-NR
For patients with significant bioprosthetic valve stenosis attributable to suspected or documented valve thrombosis, oral anticoagulation with a VKA is reasonable.

12.18 Intervention for Prosthetic Valve Stenosis

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
3D - 3-dimensional; 4D - 4-dimensional; CT - computed tomography; CVC - Comprehensive Valve Center; HF - heart failure; TEE - transesophageal echocardiography; TTE - transthoracic echocardiography; and ViV - valve-in-valve.

12.19 Diagnosis of Prosthetic Valve Regurgitation

1
B-NR
In patients with suspected mechanical or bioprosthetic valve regurgitation, TTE and TEE are recommended to determine the cause and severity of the leak, assess ventricular function, and estimate pulmonary artery systolic pressure.
1
C-EO
In patients undergoing a transcatheter procedure for paravalvular prosthetic regurgitation, 3D TEE is recommended for intraprocedural guidance.

12.20 Intervention (Prosthetic Valve)

1
B-NR
In patients with intractable hemolysis or HF attributable to prosthetic transvalvular or paravalvular leak, surgery is recommended unless surgical risk is high or prohibitive.
2a
B-NR
In asymptomatic patients with severe prosthetic regurgitation and low operative risk, surgery is reasonable.
2a
B-NR
In patients with prosthetic paravalvular regurgitation with the following: 1) either intractable hemolysis or NYHA class III or IV symptoms and 2) who are at high or prohibitive surgical risk and 3) have anatomic features suitable for catheter-based therapy, percutaneous repair of paravalvular leak is reasonable when performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2a
B-NR
For patients with severe HF symptoms caused by bioprosthetic valve regurgitation who are at high to prohibitive surgical risk, a transcatheter valve-in-valve procedure is reasonable when performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.

13 Infective Endocarditis


13.1 Diagnosis of Infective Endocarditis

1
B-NR
In patients at risk of infective endocarditis (e.g., those with congenital or acquired VHD, previous IE, prosthetic heart valves, certain congenital or heritable heart malformations, immunodeficiency states, or injection drug use) who have unexplained fever blood, culture samples should be obtained.
1
B-NR
In patients with the recent onset of left-sided valve regurgitation, at least 2 sets of blood culture samples should be obtained.
1
B-NR
In patients with suspected infective endocarditis, the Modified Duke Criteria should be used for diagnosis (Tables 13.3 and 13.4).
1
B-NR
Patients with infective endocarditis should be evaluated and managed with consultation with a multispecialty Heart Valve Team, which includes an infectious disease specialist, cardiologist, and cardiac surgeon; a cardiac anesthesiologist for surgically managed patients; and a neurologist for patients with neurological events.
1
B-NR
In patients with suspected infective endocarditis, TTE is recommended to identify vegetations, characterize the hemodynamic severity of valvular lesions, assess ventricular function and pulmonary pressures, and detect complications.
1
B-NR
In all patients with known or suspected infective endocarditis and nondiagnostic TTE results, when complications have developed or are clinically suspected or when intracardiac device leads are present, TEE is recommended.
1
B-NR
In patients with infective endocarditis who have a change in clinical signs or symptoms (e.g., new murmur, embolism, persistent fever, HF, abscess, or atrioventricular heart block) and in patients at high risk of complications (e.g., extensive infected tissue, large vegetation on initial echocardiogram, or staphylococcal, enterococcal, or fungal infections), TTE and/or TEE are recommended for reevaluation.
1
B-NR
In patients undergoing valve surgery for infective endocarditis, intraoperative TEE is recommended.
1
B-NR
In patients being considered for an early change to oral antibiotic therapy for the treatment of stable infective endocarditis, a baseline TEE before switching to oral therapy and a repeat TEE 1 to 3 days before completion of the oral antibiotic regimen should be performed.
2a
B-NR
In patients with Staphylococcus aureus bacteremia without a known source, TEE is reasonable to diagnose possible infective endocarditis.
2a
B-NR
In patients with a prosthetic valve in the presence of persistent fever without bacteremia or a new murmur, a TEE is reasonable to aid in the diagnosis of infective endocarditis.
2a
B-NR
In patients in whom the anatomy cannot be clearly delineated by echocardiography in the setting of suspected paravalvular infections, CT imaging is reasonable.
2a
B-NR
In patients classified by Modified Duke Criteria as having “possible infective endocarditis,” 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET/CT is reasonable as adjunct diagnostic imaging.
2b
B-NR
In patients with nosocomial S. aureus bacteremia with a known portal of entry from an extracardiac source, TEE might be considered to detect concomitant staphylococcal infective endocarditis.

13.2 Diagnosis of Infective Endocarditis

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
CT - computed tomography; IE - infective endocarditis; 18FDG - 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose; NVE - native valve endocarditis; PET, positron emission tomography; PVE - prosthetic valve endocarditis; TEE - transesophageal echocardiography; TTE - transthoracic echocardiography.

13.3 Diagnosis of Infective Endocarditis According to the Proposed Modified Duke Criteria

Definite infective endocarditis
Pathological criteria
  • Microorganisms demonstrated by culture or histological examination of a vegetation, a vegetation that has embolized, or an intracardiac abscess specimen; or Pathological lesions: vegetation or intracardiac abscess confirmed by histological examination showing active endocarditis
Clinical criteria
  • 2 major criteria; or
  • 1 major criterion and 3 minor criteria; or
  • 5 minor criteria
Possible infective endocarditis
  • 1 major criterion and 1 minor criterion; or
  • 3 minor criteria
Rejected
  • Firm alternative diagnosis explaining evidence of IE; or
  • Resolution of IE syndrome with antibiotic therapy for <4 d; or
  • No pathological evidence of IE at surgery or autopsy, with antibiotic therapy for <4 d; or
  • Does not meet criteria for possible IE as listed above

13.4 Major and Minor Criteria in the Modified Duke Criteria for the Diagnosis of Infective Endocarditis

Major Criteria
Blood culture positive for Infective Endocarditis
  • Typical microorganisms consistent with IE from 2 separate blood cultures:
    • Viridans streptococci, Streptococcus bovis, HACEK group (Haemophilus spp., Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Cardiobacterium hominis, Eikenella spp., and Kingella kingae), S. aureus; or community-acquired enterococci, in the absence of a primary focus; or
  • Microorganisms consistent with IE from persistently positive blood culture results, defined as follows:
    • At least 2 positive culture results of blood samples drawn 12 h apart; or
    • All of 3 or most of ≥4 separate culture samples of blood (with first and last samples drawn at least 1 h apart)
    • Single positive blood culture result for Coxiella burnetii or antiphase I IgG antibody titer >1:800
Evidence of endocardial involvement
  • Echocardiogram positive for IE defined as follows:
    • Oscillating intracardiac mass on valve or supporting structures, in the path of regurgitant jets, or on implanted material in the absence of an alternative anatomic explanation
    • Abscess; or
    • New partial dehiscence of prosthetic valve
  • New valvular regurgitation (worsening or changing of preexisting murmur not sufficient)
Minor Criteria
  • Predisposition, predisposing heart condition, or injection drug use
  • Fever, temperature >38°C (100.4°F)
  • Vascular phenomena, major arterial emboli, septic pulmonary infarcts, mycotic aneurysm, intracranial hemorrhage, conjunctival hemorrhages, and Janeway lesions
  • Immunological phenomena: glomerulonephritis, Osler’s nodes, Roth’s spots, and rheumatoid factor
  • Microbiological evidence: positive blood culture but does not meet a major criterion as noted above* or serological evidence of active infection with organism consistent with IE
* Excludes single positive cultures for coagulase-negative staphylococci and organisms that do not cause IE.

13.5 Medical Therapy of Infective Endocarditis

1
B-NR
In patients with infective endocarditis, appropriate antibiotic therapy should be initiated and continued after blood cultures are obtained, with guidance from antibiotic sensitivity data and the infectious disease experts on the multidisciplinary team.
1
B-R
Patients with suspected or confirmed infective endocarditis associated with drug use should be referred to addiction treatment for opioid substitution therapy.
2a
B-NR
In patients with infective endocarditis and with evidence of cerebral embolism or stroke, regardless of the other indications for anticoagulation, it is reasonable to temporarily discontinue anticoagulation.
2b
B-R
In patients with left-sided infective endocarditis caused by streptococcus, Enterococcus faecalis, S. aureus, or coagulase-negative staphylococci deemed stable by the multidisciplinary team after initial intravenous antibiotics, a change to oral antibiotic therapy may be considered if TEE before the switch to oral therapy shows no paravalvular infection, if frequent and appropriate follow-up can be assured by the care team, and if a follow-up TEE can be performed 1 to 3 days before the completion of the antibiotic course.
2b
B-NR
In patients receiving VKA anticoagulation at the time of infective endocarditis diagnosis, temporary discontinuation of VKA anticoagulation may be considered.
3: Harm
C-LD
Patients with known valvular heart disease should not receive antibiotics before blood cultures are obtained for unexplained fever.

13.6 Intervention of Infective Endocarditis

1
B-NR
Decisions about the timing of surgical intervention for infective endocarditis should be made by a Heart Valve Team.
1
B-NR
In patients with infective endocarditis who present with valve dysfunction resulting in symptoms of HF, early surgery (during initial hospitalization and before completion of a full therapeutic course of antibiotics) is indicated.
1
B-NR
In patients with left-sided infective endocarditis caused by S.aureus, a fungal organism, or other highly resistant organisms, early surgery (during initial hospitalization and before completion of a full therapeutic course of antibiotics) is indicated.
1
B-NR
In patients with infective endocarditis complicated by heart block, annular or aortic abscess, or destructive penetrating lesions, early surgery (during initial hospitalization and before completion of a full therapeutic course of antibiotics) is indicated.
1
B-NR
In patients with infective endocarditis and evidence of persistent infection as manifested by persistent bacteremia or fevers lasting >5 days after onset of appropriate antimicrobial therapy, early surgery (during initial hospitalization and before completion of a full therapeutic course of antibiotics) for IE is indicated.
1
B-NR
In all patients with definite endocarditis and an implanted cardiac electronic device, complete removal of the pacemaker or defibrillator systems, including all leads and the generator, is indicated.
1
C-LD
For patients with prosthetic valve endocarditis and relapsing infection (defined as recurrence of bacteremia after a complete course of appropriate antibiotics and subsequent negative blood culture results) without other identifiable source of infection, surgery is recommended.
1
C-LD
In patients with recurrent endocarditis and continued intravenous drug use, consultation with addiction medicine is recommended to discuss the long-term prognosis for the patient’s refraining from actions that risk reinfection before repeat surgical intervention is considered.
2a
B-NR
In patients with infective endocarditis who present with recurrent emboli and persistent vegetations despite appropriate antibiotic therapy, early surgery (during initial hospitalization and before completion of a full therapeutic course of antibiotics) is reasonable.
2b
B-NR
In patients with native left-sided valve endocarditis who exhibit mobile vegetations >10 mm in length (with or without clinical evidence of embolic phenomenon), early surgery (during initial hospitalization and before completion of a full therapeutic course of antibiotics) may be considered.
2b
B-NR
In patients with infective endocarditis and an indication for surgery who have suffered a stroke but have no evidence of intracranial hemorrhage or extensive neurological damage, operation without delay may be considered.
2b
B-NR
For patients with infective endocarditis and major ischemic stroke with extensive neurological damage or intracranial hemorrhage, if the patient is hemodynamically stable, delaying valve surgery for at least 4 weeks may be considered.

13.7 Infective Endocarditis Treatment

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* IE caused by streptococcus, Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus, or coagulase-negative staphylococci deemed stable by the Heart Valve Team.
Early surgery defined as during initial hospital course and before completion of a full course of appropriate antibiotics.
In patients with an indication for surgery and a stroke but no evidence of intracranial hemorrhage or extensive neurological damage, surgery without delay may be considered.

14 Pregnancy and VHD


14.1 Initial Management of Women With VHD Before and During Pregnancy

1
B-NR
Women with suspected valve disease who are considering pregnancy should undergo a clinical evaluation and TTE before pregnancy.
1
B-NR
Women with severe valve disease (Stages C and D) who are considering pregnancy should undergo pre-pregnancy counseling by a cardiologist with expertise in managing women with VHD during pregnancy.
1
B-NR
Pregnant women with severe valve disease (Stages C and D) should be monitored in a tertiary-care center with a dedicated Heart Valve Team of cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and maternal-fetal medicine obstetricians with expertise in the management of high-risk cardiac conditions during pregnancy.
2a
B-NR
In asymptomatic women with severe valve disease (Stage C1) who are considering pregnancy, exercise testing is reasonable before pregnancy for risk assessment.

14.2 Medical Therapy of Pregnant Women With VHD

2a
C-LD
In pregnant women with VHD, beta-blocker medications are reasonable as required for heart rate control or treatment of arrhythmias.
2a
C-LD
In pregnant women with VHD and HF symptoms (Stage D), diuretic medications are reasonable if needed for volume overload.
3: Harm
B-NR
In pregnant women with VHD, ACE inhibitors and ARBs should not be given because of fetal risk.

14.3 Pre-Pregnancy Intervention in Women With VHD

1
B-NR
In symptomatic women with severe VHD who are considering pregnancy, intervention before pregnancy is recommended on the basis of standard indications.
1
C-EO
In women who require a valve intervention before pregnancy, the choice of prosthetic valve should be based on a shared decision-making process that accounts for the patient’s values and preferences, including discussion of the risks of mechanical valves during pregnancy and the reduced durability of bioprosthetic valves in young women.
2a
C-LD
In asymptomatic women with severe rheumatic mitral stenosis (mitral valve area ≤1.5 cm2, Stage C1) who are considering pregnancy, percutaneous mitral balloon commissurotomy at a Comprehensive Valve Center is reasonable before pregnancy for those who have favorable valve morphology.
2a
B-NR
In women of childbearing age who require valve replacement, bioprosthetic valves are preferred over mechanical valves because of the increased maternal and fetal risks of mechanical heart valves in pregnancy.
2a
C-EO
In asymptomatic women with severe aortic stenosis (aortic velocity ≥4.0 m/s or mean pressure gradient ≥40 mm Hg, Stage C) who are considering pregnancy, valve intervention before pregnancy is reasonable.
2b
C-EO
In asymptomatic women with severe aortic stenosis (aortic velocity ≥4.0 m/s or mean pressure gradient ≥40 mm Hg, Stage C1) who are considering pregnancy, do not meet COR 1 criteria for intervention, and have a preconception evaluation confirming the absence of symptoms (including normal exercise stress testing and serum BNP measurements), medical management during pregnancy may be considered to avoid prosthetic valve replacement.
2b
C-EO
In asymptomatic women with severe mitral regurgitation (Stage C1) and a valve suitable for repair who are considering pregnancy, valve repair before pregnancy at a Comprehensive Valve Center may be considered but only after detailed discussion with the patient about the risks and benefits of the surgery and its effect on future pregnancies.

14.4 Preconception Management of Women with Native Valve Disease

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
TTE - transthoracic echocardiography; VHD - valvular heart disease

14.5 Intervention During Pregnancy in Women With VHD

2a
B-NR
In pregnant women with severe aortic stenosis (mean pressure gradient ≥40 mm Hg, Stage D), valve intervention during pregnancy is reasonable if there is hemodynamic deterioration or if there are NYHA class III or IV HF symptoms.
2a
B-NR
In pregnant women with severe rheumatic mitral stenosis (mitral valve area ≤1.5 cm2, Stage D) and with valve morphology favorable for PMBC who remain symptomatic with NYHA class III or IV HF symptoms despite medical therapy, PMBC is reasonable during pregnancy if it is performed at a Comprehensive Valve Center.
2a
C-LD
In pregnant women with severe valve regurgitation and with NYHA class IV HF symptoms (Stage D) refractory to medical therapy, valve surgery is reasonable during pregnancy.
3: Harm
C-LD
In pregnant women with VHD, valve surgeries should not be performed in the absence of severe HF symptoms refractory to medical therapy.

14.6 Initial Management of Prosthetic Heart Valves in Pregnant Women

1
C-EO
Women with a prosthetic valve should undergo pre-pregnancy assessment, including echocardiography, by a cardiologist with expertise in managing women with VHD during pregnancy.
1
C-EO
Pregnant women with a mechanical prosthesis should be monitored in a tertiary-care center with a dedicated multidisciplinary team of cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and maternal-fetal medicine obstetricians with expertise in the management of high-risk cardiac conditions during pregnancy.
1
B-NR
Women with mechanical heart valves considering pregnancy should be counselled that pregnancy is high risk and that there is no anticoagulation strategy that is consistently safe for the mother and baby.
1
B-NR
Pregnant women with a mechanical prosthetic valve who have prosthetic valve obstruction or experience an embolic event should undergo a TEE.

14.7 Anticoagulation for Pregnant Women With Mechanical Prosthetic Heart Valves

1
B-NR
Pregnant women with mechanical prostheses should receive therapeutic anticoagulation with frequent monitoring during pregnancy.
1
B-NR
Women with mechanical heart valves who cannot maintain therapeutic anticoagulation with frequent monitoring should be counseled against pregnancy.
1
B-NR
Women with mechanical heart valves and their providers should use shared decision-making to choose an anticoagulation strategy for pregnancy. Women should be informed that VKA during pregnancy is associated with the lowest likelihood of maternal complications but the highest likelihood of miscarriage, fetal death, and congenital abnormalities, particularly if taken during the first trimester and if the warfarin dose exceeds 5 mg/d.
1
C-LD
Pregnant women with mechanical valve prostheses who are on warfarin should switch to twice-daily LMWH (with a target anti-Xa level of 0.8 U/mL to 1.2 U/mL at 4 to 6 hours after dose) or intravenous UFH (with an aPTT 2 times control) at least 1 week before planned delivery.
1
C-LD
Pregnant women with mechanical valve prostheses who are on LMWH should switch to UFH (with an aPTT 2 times control) at least 36 hours before planned delivery.
1
C-LD
Pregnant women with valve prostheses should stop UFH at least 6 hours before planned vaginal delivery.
1
C-LD
If labor begins or urgent delivery is required in a woman therapeutically anticoagulated with a VKA, cesarean section should be performed after reversal of anticoagulation.
2a
B-NR
For pregnant women with mechanical prostheses who require a dose of warfarin ≤5 mg/d to maintain a therapeutic INR, continuation of warfarin for all 3 trimesters is reasonable after full discussion with the patient about risks and benefits.
2a
B-NR
For pregnant women with mechanical prostheses who require >5 mg/d of warfarin to achieve a therapeutic INR, dose-adjusted LMWH (with a target anti-Xa level of 0.8 to 1.2 U/mL at 4 to 6 hours after dose) at least 2 times per day during the first trimester, followed by warfarin during the second and third trimesters, is reasonable.
2a
B-NR
For pregnant women with mechanical prostheses who require a dose of warfarin >5 mg/d to achieve a therapeutic INR, and for whom dose-adjusted LMWH is unavailable, dose-adjusted continuous intravenous UFH during the first trimester (with aPTT 2 times control), followed by warfarin for the second and third trimesters, is reasonable.
2a
B-NR
For hemodynamically stable pregnant women with obstructive left-sided mechanical valve thrombosis, it is reasonable to manage with slow-infusion, low-dose fibrinolytic therapy.
2b
B-NR
For pregnant women with mechanical prostheses who require a warfarin dose >5 mg/d to achieve a therapeutic INR, dose-adjusted LMWH (with a target anti-Xa level of 0.8 to 1.2 U/mL at 4 to 6 hours after dose) at least 2 times per day for all 3 trimesters may be considered.
2b
B-NR
For pregnant women with mechanical prostheses who require a dose of warfarin ≤5 mg/d to maintain a therapeutic INR, dose-adjusted LMWH at least 2 times per day during the first trimester, followed by warfarin for the second and third trimesters, may be considered.
2b
B-NR
For pregnant women with mechanical prostheses, aspirin 75 to 100 mg daily may be considered, in addition to anticoagulation, if needed for other indications.
3: Harm
B-NR
For pregnant women with mechanical prostheses, LMWH should not be administered unless anti-Xa levels are monitored 4 to 6 hours after administration and dose is adjusted according to levels.
3: Harm
B-R
For patients with mechanical valve prostheses, anticoagulation with the direct thrombin inhibitor, dabigatran, should not be administered.
3: Harm
C-EO
The use of anti-Xa direct oral anticoagulants with mechanical heart valves in pregnancy has not been assessed and is not recommended.

14.8 Anticoagulation for Prosthetic Mechanical Heart Valves in Women during Pregnancy

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* Dose-adjusted LMWH should be given at least 2 times per day, with close monitoring of anti-Xa levels. Target to Xa level of 0.8 to 1.2 U/mL, 4 to 6 hours after dose. Trough levels may aid in maintaining patient in therapeutic range. Continuous UFH should be adjusted to aPTT 2 times control.
aPTT - indicates activated partial thromboplastin time; IV - intravenous; LMWH - low-molecular-weight heparin; UFH - unfractionated heparin; VKA - vitamin K antagonist

15 Surgical Considerations


15.1 Management of CAD in Patients Undergoing TAVI

1
C-EO
In patients undergoing TAVI, 1) contrast-enhanced coronary CT angiography (in patients with a low pretest probability for CAD) or 2) an invasive coronary angiogram is recommended to assess coronary anatomy and guide revascularization.
2a
C-LD
In patients undergoing TAVI with significant left main or proximal CAD with or without angina, revascularization by PCI before TAVI is reasonable.
2a
C-LD
In patients with significant aortic stenosis and significant CAD (luminal reduction >70% diameter, fractional flow reserve <0.8, instantaneous wave-free ratio <0.89) consisting of complex bifurcation left main and/or multivessel CAD with a SYNTAX (Synergy Between Percutaneous Coronary Intervention With Taxus and Cardiac Surgery) score >33, SAVR and CABG are reasonable and preferred over TAVI and PCI.

15.2 Management of CAD in Patients undergoing Valve Intervetions

Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
* Including men age >40 years and postmenopausal women.
AVR - aortic valve replacement; CAD - coronary artery disease; CABG - coronary artery bypass graft; CT - computed tomography; LV - left ventricular; MR - mitral regurgitation; PCI - percutaneous coronary intervention; SYNTAX - Synergy Between Percutaneous Coronary Intervention With Taxus and Cardiac Surgery; TAVI - transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

15.3 Management of CAD in Patients Undergoing Valve Surgery

1
C-LD
In patients with symptoms of angina, objective evidence of ischemia, decreased LV systolic function, history of CAD, or coronary risk factors (including men >40 years of age and postmenopausal women), invasive coronary angiography is indicated before valve intervention.
1
C-LD
In patients with chronic severe secondary mitral regurgitation, invasive coronary angiography should be performed as part of the evaluation.
2a
B-NR
In selected patients with a low to intermediate pretest probability of CAD, contrast-enhanced coronary CT angiography is reasonable to exclude the presence of significant obstructive CAD.
2a
C-LD
In patients undergoing valve repair or replacement with significant proximal CAD (≥70% reduction in luminal diameter in major coronary arteries or ≥50% reduction in luminal diameter in the left main coronary artery and/or physiologically significance), CABG is reasonable for selective patients.

15.4 Intervention for Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With VHD

1
C-LD
In patients with valvular heart disease and atrial fibrillation for whom surgical intervention is planned, the potential symptomatic benefits and additional procedural risks of adjunctive arrhythmia surgery at the time of cardiac valvular surgery should be discussed with the patient.
2a
B-R
For symptomatic patients with paroxysmal or persistent atrial fibrillation who are undergoing valvular surgery, surgical pulmonary vein isolation or a maze procedure can be beneficial to reduce symptoms and prevent recurrent arrhythmias.
2a
B-NR
For patients with atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter who are undergoing valve surgery, LA appendage ligation/excision is reasonable to reduce the risk of thromboembolic events.
2a
B-NR
In patients undergoing LA surgical ablation of atrial arrhythmias and/or LA appendage ligation/excision, anticoagulation therapy is reasonable for at least 3 months after the procedure.
3: Harm
B-NR
For patients without atrial arrhythmias who are undergoing valvular surgery, LA appendage occlusion/exclusion/amputation is potentially harmful.

15.5 Intervention for Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with VHD


Colors correspond to the Class of Recommendation.
AF - atrial fibrillation; LA - left atrial, VHD - valvular heart disease.

16 Noncardiac Surgery in Patients with VHD


16.1 Patients With VHD Undergoing Noncardiac Surgery

1
C-EO
In patients with clinically suspected moderate or greater degrees of valvular stenosis or regurgitation who are undergoing noncardiac surgery, preoperative echocardiography is recommended.

16.2 Management of the Symptomatic Patient With VHD Undergoing Noncardiac Surgery

1
C-EO
In patients who meet standard indications for intervention for VHD (replacement and repair) on the basis of symptoms and disease severity, intervention should be performed before elective noncardiac surgery to reduce perioperative risk if possible, depending on the urgency and risk of the noncardiac procedure.

16.3 Management of the Asymptomatic Patient With VHD Undergoing Noncardiac Surgery

2a
B-R
In asymptomatic patients with moderate or greater degrees of aortic stenosis and normal LV systolic function, it is reasonable to perform elective noncardiac surgery.
2a
C-EO
In asymptomatic patients with moderate or greater degrees of rheumatic mitral stenosis with less than severe pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary artery systolic pressure <50 mm Hg), it is reasonable to perform elective noncardiac surgery.
2a
C-LD
In asymptomatic patients with moderate or greater degrees of mitral regurgitation and normal LV systolic function with less than severe pulmonary hypertension (pulmonary artery systolic pressure <50 mm Hg), it is reasonable to perform elective noncardiac surgery.
2a
C-LD
In asymptomatic patients with moderate or greater degrees of aortic regurgitation and normal LV systolic function, it is reasonable to perform elective noncardiac surgery.

Evidence Gaps and Future Directions for Patients With VHD

Evidence Gaps Future Directions
Identification of patients at risk and valve disease prevention (Stage A)
Disease mechanisms Basic science to identify specific targets for medical therapy
Rheumatic heart disease Primary and secondary prevention
Calcific valve disease
  • Identification of patients at risk
  • Risk factor intervention
  • Prevention of disease initiation
Medical therapy for progressive valve disease (Stage B)
Disease mechanisms Basic science to identify specific targets to slow or reverse disease progression
Medical intervention Targeted therapy using advanced imaging endpoints to study disease mechanisms
Ventricular and vascular interactions
  • Dynamic interplay between valve disease severity and changes in ventricular anatomy and function
  • Modulation of ventricular and vascular dysfunction in patients with VHD
Optimal timing of intervention (Stage C)
Improved measures of disease severity
  • Validation of newer measures of LV size (eg, volumes instead of dimension) and function (eg, strain) for timing of intervention decisions
  • Evaluation of nonimaging parameters (serum markers and other novel approaches)
Timing of intervention
  • Timing of intervention in asymptomatic patients with valve regurgitation
  • Intervention for asymptomatic severe AS
  • Intervention for moderate AS with LV dysfunction
  • Identification of patients with secondary MR who benefit from intervention
Patient-centered research Involvement of patients in identifying research questions, study design, and definition of outcomes
Inclusion of diverse patient groups Adequate representation of diverse patient populations in RCTs for VHD
Decision aids
  • Development and validation of improved decision aids for shared decision-making with patients
  • Implementation and validation of decision algorithms for physicians and Heart Valve Teams
Intervention options and long-term management (Stage D)
Improved prosthetic valves
  • Durability of TAVI valves
  • Nonthrombogenic durable surgical and transcatheter valves
Optimal antithrombotic therapy
  • Alternatives to VKA anticoagulation for mechanical valves
  • Management of anticoagulation during pregnancy
  • Optimal antithrombotic therapy after TAVI
Medical therapy after AVR
  • Medical therapy to address ventricular and vascular function
  • Optimal blood pressure targets after valve intervention
Lower procedural risk
  • Approaches to lower surgical morbidity and mortality rates
  • Prevention of postoperative atrial fibrillation
  • Noninvasive approaches for correction of valve dysfunction
Prevention of complications
  • Approaches to avoid need for permanent pacing after SAVR or TAVI
  • Better prevention, diagnosis and treatment of endocarditis.
  • Better prevention of thromboembolic events.
Promoting equity
  • Identify and address disparities in outcomes and survival across diverse patient populations
  • Develop novel, cost-effective approaches for long-term management in rural settings
  • Expand access to therapies for valvular dysfunction