Research Article|Articles in Press

Comparison of oral anticoagulation by vitamin-K antagonists and non-vitamin-K antagonists for treatment of leaflet thickening after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)



      Hypoattenuated leaflet thickening (HALT), as identified by CT imaging, is not infrequent after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). The best choice of oral anticoagulation is unknown. We compared the effectiveness of Direct Oral AntiCoagulants (DOAC) and Vitamin-K Antagonists (VKA) to resolve HALT in patients with serial CT aquisitions.


      A total of 46 consecutive TAVI patients in whom anticoagulation had been initiated because of HALT and who underwent follow-up CT were identified. Indication and type of anticoagulation was according to physician discretion. Patients on DOAC were compared to VKA therapy regarding resolution of HALT.


      Mean age of the 46 patients was 80 ± 6 years (59% men), and the mean duration of anticoagulation was 156 days. Overall, 41 patients (89%) showed resolution of HALT with anticoagulation therapy, whereas HALT persisted in 5 patients (11%). Resolution of HALT was seen in 26 out of 30 (87%) patients receiving VKA and in 15 out of 16 (94%) patients receiving DOAC, respectively. Groups did not differ regarding age, cardiovascular risk factors, TAVI prosthesis type and size or duration of anticoagulation (all p > 0.05).


      Anticoagulation therapy resolves leaflet thickening after TAVI in most patients. Non-Vitamin-K antagonists seem to be an effective alternative to Vitamin-K antagonists. This finding needs to be confirmed in larger prospective trials.

      Graphical abstract


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