Aims: Aortic regurgitation (AR) after Medtronic CoreValve System (MCS) implantation may be explained by patient-, operator- and procedure-related factors. We sought to explore if frame geometry, as a result of a specific device-host interaction, contributes to AR.
Methods and results: Using rotational angiography with dedicated motion compensation, we assessed valve frame geometry in 84 patients who underwent TAVI with the MCS. Aortic regurgitation was assessed by angiography (n=84, Sellers) and echocardiography at discharge (n=72, VARC-2). Twenty-two patients (26%) had AR grade ≥2 using contrast angiography, and 17 (24%) by echocardiography. Balloon predilatation and sizing and depth of implantation did not differ between the two groups. Despite more frequent balloon post-dilatation in patients with AR (40.9 vs. 9.7%, p=0.001), the frame was more elliptical at its nadir relative to the patient’s annulus (6±13 vs. –1±11%, p=0.046) and occurred in a larger proportion of patients (61.9 vs. 26.8%, p=0.004). Although the Agatston score and the eccentricity of the MCS frame relative to the annulus were independent determinants of AR (odds ratio: 1.635 [1.151-2.324], p=0.006, and 4.204 [1.237-14.290], p=0.021), there was a weak association between the Agatston score and the adjusted eccentricity (Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient
Conclusions: These findings indicate that AR can be explained by a specific device-host interaction which can only partially be explained by the calcium load of the aortic root.