A best evidence topic in cardiac surgery was written according to a structured protocol. The question addressed was: In low-risk patients aged >70-75 with severe aortic stenosis, is transcatheter superior to surgical aortic valve replacement in terms of reported composite outcomes and survival? More than 73 papers were found using the reported search, of which 8 represented the best evidence to answer the clinical question. The authors, journal, date and country of publication, patient group studied, study type, relevant outcomes and results of these papers were tabulated. The only low-risk randomized control trial to date [Nordic Aortic Valve Intervention (NOTION)] regarding an elderly population did not show a statistically significant difference between the 2 approaches regarding the composite endpoint of death, stroke or myocardial infarction. A subgroup analysis of elderly patients in the 2 main low-risk randomized control trials did not yield statistically different results from those of the overall population; the results indicated the superiority of transcatheter aortic valve implantation regarding the composite of death, stroke or rehospitalization at 1 year [The Safety and Effectiveness of the SAPIEN 3 Transcatheter Heart Valve in Low Risk Patients With Aortic Stenosis (PARTNER 3)] and non-inferiority regarding a composite of death or stroke at 2 years [Medtronic Evolut Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in Low-Risk Patients (Evolut LR)]. The results from lower evidence studies are largely consistent with these findings. Overall, there is no compelling evidence indicating that older age should be an isolated criterion for the choice between transcatheter aortic valve replacement and surgical aortic valve replacement in otherwise low-risk patients. The superiority of either technique regarding the aforementioned composite short-term outcomes in this particular subgroup of patients is unclear.
© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. All rights reserved.