Background: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is becoming a valuable alternative to surgical
aortic valve replacement in patients with severe aortic stenosis that are at high surgical risk or deemed inoperable.
The optimal anesthesia technique for TAVI is still undecided. We performed a systematic review and metaanalysis
to compare the safety of locoregional anesthesia (LRA) with or without conscious sedation and general
anesthesia (GA) for the TAVI-procedure.
Methods: We searched PUBMED, MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane central register of controlled trials
from January 1st 2002 to February 15th 2015. The primary outcome parameters searched were 30-days mortality, hospital length of stay,
procedure time, use of adrenergic support, stroke rate, incidence of myocardial infarction, incidence of acute kidney injury, rate of procedural
Results: Ten studies, including 5919 patients, fulfilled the inclusion criteria. None of these studies was randomized resulting in a considerable
risk of bias. The choice for a specific anesthesia technique did neither affect the average 30-day mortality rate [RR 0.91 (95% CI:
0.53 to 1.56), p=0.72] nor a wide variety of safety endpoints. LRA for TAVI was associated with a significantly shorter procedure time
when compared to GA, and a reduction in hospital length of stay. However, LRA significantly increased the risk for implantation of a
permanent pacemaker (RR 1.23, p=0.02) and for paravalvular leakage (RR 1.31, p=0.006.).
Conclusion: Neither mortality nor the incidence of major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events after TAVI is affected by the
choice for either LRA or GA.