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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Onco-cardiologist Dilemma: to Implant, to Defer, or to Avoid Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in Cancer Patients with Aortic Stenosis?

  • Author(s): Balanescu, Serban Mihai
  • Balanescu, Dinu Valentin
  • Donisan, Teodora
  • Yang, Eric H
  • Palaskas, Nicolas
  • Lopez-Mattei, Juan
  • Hassan, Saamir
  • Kim, Peter
  • Cilingiroglu, Mehmet
  • Marmagkiolis, Konstantinos
  • Kar, Biswajit
  • Iliescu, Cezar
  • et al.
The data associated with this publication are within the manuscript.

Aging is associated with an increased prevalence of both cancer and heart disease. The progression of aortic valve calcification to aortic stenosis may be accelerated by both cardiovascular risk factors and cancer treatments, such as radiotherapy with mediastinal involvement. Symptomatic aortic stenosis is occasionally diagnosed in cancer patients undergoing cardiovascular evaluation; likewise, cancer is often recognized during assessment preceding aortic valve interventions. In these complex cases, physicians face difficult treatment decisions. Due to a myriad of clinical presentations of cancer and valve disease, specific guidelines for this patient population are not currently in place. Management is currently based on clinical judgment, on an individual basis.

Patients with cancer in remission or with a favorable prognosis should be treated according to current cardiovascular guidelines. In these patients, aortic valve replacement can be performed either by surgery or transcatheter. Significant challenges arise in patients with active cancer, especially those receiving anti-cancer treatment. Recent data suggests that these patients can be offered aortic valve replacement, with a trend of favoring the transcatheter route in order to minimize perioperative risk and complications associated with major surgery. Patients with advanced cancer and severe aortic stenosis should be offered palliative care and can benefit from aortic balloon valvuloplasty if indicated. Modern cancer treatments associated with improved long-term prognosis may allow the appropriate cure of aortic stenosis. We discuss the protocol, outcomes, and evolving recommendations of aortic valve replacement in cancer patients with aortic stenosis.

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