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The FDA approved two types of devices for transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) after determining they were better than standard therapy for inoperable patients and an alternative to open surgery in high-risk patients. Nonetheless, this generally elderly patient population poses challenges and there are still potential missteps that could derail TAVR. Patient selection tools, 3D imaging and other approaches may minimize the likelihood of complications and poor outcomes occurring.
The frailty factor
Patient selection may not be the be-all, end-all for achieving good outcomes with TAVR, but it can go a long way toward maximizing the chances. Identifying those patients with severe aortic stenosis, whether inoperable or at high surgical risk, who truly will benefit...