Post TAVR management

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1],Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Seyedmahdi Pahlavani, M.D. [2]


Long-term management of patients after TAVR is similar to that of patients after SAVR. Periodic patient monitoring for valve function, cardiac conduction defects, arrhythmia, comorbidties, antithrombotic therapy, patient education, dental hygiene and endocarditis prophylaxis and cardiac rehabilitation and physical therapy are the basic components of post procedure care.

Post TAVR clinical management

The long-term management of patients after TAVR is similar to that of patients after SAVR. The major differences are that patients undergoing TAVR tend to be older and have more comorbid conditions; an access site replaces the surgical incision; and the long-term durability of transcatheter valves is not yet known.
Basic principles for management of patients after valve replacement include:

The following table describes Checklist for Post-TAVR Clinical Management.

Abbreviations: ACC:American College of Cardiology; ADLs: activities of daily living; AF: atrial fibrillation; AHA: American Heart Association; AR: aortic regurgitation; ASA: aspirin; ECG: electrocardiogram; GI: gastrointestinal; LV: left ventricular; MD: medical doctor; NOAC: new oral anticoagulant; OT: occupational therapy; PA: pulmonary artery; PT: physical therapy; TAVR: transcatheter aortic valve replacement; VTE: venous thromboembolism.

Checklist for Post-TAVR Clinical Management
Key Steps Essential Elements Additional Details
Immediate Postprocedure Management
Waking from sedation
Post-procedure monitoring
  • Ultrasound of groin site if concern for pseudoaneurysm
  • Frequent neurological assessment
Pain management
Early mobilization
  • Mobilize as soon as access site allows
  • Manage comorbidities
  • PT and OT assessment
Encourage physical activity
Discharge planning
  • Resume preoperative medications
  • Plan discharge location
  • Schedule postdischarge clinic visits
  • Family and social support
  • Ability to perform ADLs
  • Transportation
  • Discharge medications
  • Patient instructions and education
Long-Term Follow-up
  • TAVR Team at 30 days
  • Primary cardiologist at 6 months and then annually
  • Primary care MD or geriatrician at 3 months and then prn
  • Hand-off from TAVR team to primary cardiologist at 30 days
  • More frequent follow up if needed for changes in symptoms, or transient conduction abnormalities.
  • Coordination of care between TAVR team, primary cardiologist and primary care MD
Antithrombotic therapy
  • ASA 75–100 mg daily lifelong
  • Clopidogrel 75 mg daily for 3–6 months
  • Consider warfarin (INR 2–2.5) if at risk of AF or VTE
  • Management when warfarin or NOAC needed for other indications
Concurrent cardiac disease
  • Monitor labs for blood counts, metabolic panel, renal function
  • Assess pulmonary, renal, GI, and neurologic function by primary care MD annually or as needed
Monitor for post-TAVR


Dental hygiene and

antibiotic prophylaxis

  • Encourage optimal dental care
  • Antibiotic prophylaxis per AHA/ACC guidelines

Immediate Postprocedure Management

After TAVR procedure, patients should be monitored for recovery from sedation and anesthesia.

Waking from sedation

When general anesthesia is used, early extubation is encouraged, as for any general anesthesia procedure.

Postprocedure Monitoring

Monitoring for mental status, telemetry, vital signs, volume status, postprocedure blood testing and access site for adequate hemostasis is required for either conscious sedation or general anesthesia.

Pain Management

Appropriate pain management, continued mental status monitoring, and early mobilization are especially important post-TAVR as patients often are elderly with a high burden of comorbidities.

Early Mobilization

Discharge plan should be prepared before the procedure and should include physical and occupational therapy.

Discharge Planning

Early discharge (within 72 hours) does not increase the risk of 30-day mortality, bleeding, pacer implantation or re-hospitalization in selected patients undergoing transfemoral TAVR.[1]

Long Term Follow up


Integration and coordination of medical care is essential post-TAVR to ensure optimal patient outcomes. Outcomes after TAVR depend strongly on overall patient health and clinical conditions other than the aortic valve disease.[2]
Readmission rates are over 40% in the first year after the procedure, most often due to non-cardiac causes (60% of re-admissions); common readmission diagnoses include respiratory problems, infections and bleeding events. Cardiac re-admissions are most often for arrhythmias or heart failure.[3][4]
Mortality rates after TAVR remain very high, with about 30% of patients dying within 3 years of the procedure[5][6]. Non-cardiac causes of death predominate after the first 6 months. These data emphasize the need for integrated non-cardiac and cardiac care in these patients, including end-of-life planning.
The Heart Valve Team is responsible for care for the first 30 days because procedural complications are most likely in this time interval. After 30 days, there should be a formal transfer of care from the Heart Valve Team back to the referring primary cardiologist. In stable patients with no complications and few co-morbidities, the primary cardiologist should see the patient at 6 months and then annually, and more frequently as needed for complications or concurrent medical conditions. The primary care provider and cardiologist should communicate frequently to ensure coordination of care, with clear patient instructions on when and how to contact the care team.

Antithrombotic Therapy

The current standard antithrombotic therapy after TAVR is clopidogrel 75 mg orally daily for 3–6 months with oral aspirin 75–100 mg daily lifelong. Patients with chronic AF or other indications for long-term anticoagulation should receive anticoagulation as per guidelines for AF in patients with prosthetic heart valves. Vitamin-K antagonist therapy may be considered in the first 3 months after TAVR in patients at risk of AF or valve thrombosis, depending on the specific risk-benefit ratio in that patient. When vitamin-K antagonist therapy is used, continuation of aspirin is reasonable, but it may be prudent to avoid other antiplatelet therapy in some patients given the increased risk of bleeding with multiple simultaneous antithrombotic agents.

Concurrent Cardiac Disease

Long-term management focuses on treatment of comorbid cardiac and non-cardiac conditions.

Cardiac comorbidities Noncardiac


Hypertension Pulmonary disease
Coronary artery disease Renal disease
LV systolic


LV diastolic


MV disease Cognitive impairment
Pulmonary hypertension

non-cardiac conditions are best managed by the primary care provider or geriatrician, with the cardiologist providing consultation regarding any changes in cardiac signs or symptoms. Referral back to the Heart Valve Team is appropriate when prosthetic valve dysfunction is a concern or if a second interventional procedure might be needed for another valve or for coronary artery disease. In addition to echocardiography, periodic ECG monitoring is recommended for detection of asymptomatic AF and because heart block or other conduction defects can occur late after TAVR.

Monitor for Post-TAVR Complications

Echocardiography before discharge provides a new baseline study of transcatheter valve function and should include:
the antegrade TAVR velocity, mean transaortic gradient, valve area, assessment of paravalvular AR, LV size, regional wall motion and ejection fraction, evaluation of MV anatomy and function, estimation of pulmonary pressures and evaluation of the right ventricle.
Repeat echocardiography is recommended at 30 days and then at least annually.
Routine ECG assessment is also recommended owing to a potential need for pacemaker implantation beyond the initial 30-day period, particularly following implantation of the self expanding TAVR.
The TAVR procedure is associated with a high risk of dislodgement of microdebris from arch atheroma or from the valve itself with subsequent embolic stroke. Clinical cerebrovascular event rates are around 3%–5% at 30 days.[7][8]

Dental Hygiene and Antibiotic Prophylaxis

A TAVR is a risk factor for endocarditis, with reported rates of early prosthetic valve endocarditis ranging from 0.3% to 3.4 % per patient-year.[9][10]
Standard antibiotic prophylaxis after TAVR is the same as for all prosthetic valves per ACC Guidelines.[11] In addition, patients should be encouraged to use optimal dental hygiene and see a dentist regularly for routine cleaning and dental care, with antibiotic prophylaxis at each visit.


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