Methods: PubMed, Cochrane and Web of Science databases were systematically searched from inception until 10 January 2022. The search key terms were ‘asymptomatic’, ‘severe aortic stenosis’ and ‘intervention’.
Results: Meta-analysis of two published randomised trials, AVATAR and RECOVERY, included 302 patients and showed that early intervention resulted in 55% reduction in all-cause mortality (HR=0.45, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.86; I2 0%) and 79% reduction in risk of hospitalisation for heart failure (HR=0.21, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.96; I2 15%). There was no difference in risk of cardiovascular death between the two groups (HR=0.36, 95% CI 0.03 to 3.78; I2 78%). Additionally, meta-analysis of eight observational studies showed improved mortality in patients treated with early intervention (HR=0.38, 95% CI 0.26 to 0.56; I2 77%).
Conclusion: This meta-analysis provides evidence that, in patients with severe asymptomatic aortic stenosis, early intervention reduces all-cause mortality and improves outcomes compared with conservative management. While this is very encouraging, further randomised controlled studies are needed to draw firm conclusions and identify the optimal timing of intervention.