Okor I, Bob-Manuel T, Garikapati K, Baldawi H, Gillies C, Ibebuogu UN
Rheumatic heart disease (RHD) mainly affects people in developing, low-income countries. However, due to globalization and migration, developed countries are now seeing more cases of RHD. In RHD patients who develop severe symptomatic aortic stenosis, surgical aortic valve replacement remains the treatment of choice. In the past decade, there has been an extension of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) to intermediate-risk and lower-risk patients with aortic stenosis. This review suggests the possible utility of TAVR for the treatment of rheumatic aortic stenosis. Rheumatic aortic stenosis has been excluded from major TAVR studies due to the predominantly noncalcific pathology of the rheumatic aortic valve. However, there have been case reports and case series showing successful implantation of the valve even in patients with and without significant leaflet calcification. In this review article, we summarize the latest evidence of severe rheumatic aortic stenosis treated with TAVR and discuss the procedure's impact on patient care, safety, and efficacy.