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Despite frequent percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in calcified vessels of older patients, rotational atherectomy (RA) has not been endorsed in patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) due to safety concerns and lack of data. We explored periprocedural safety and mortality in severe AS patients undergoing RA. Prospective anonymized clinical, echocardiographic, procedural and outcome data of patients undergoing RA PCI between January 2012 and July 2018 were retrospectively extracted from the institutional coronary database. Patients with severe AS undergoing RA PCI were 1:1 propensity matched with patients undergoing RA PCI in the absence of AS. Outcomes of interest were RA related periprocedural complications, 30-day and 1-year mortality. A prespecified subgroup analysis examined the influence of transcatheter aortic valve replacement on mortality following RA PCI. A total of 544 patients underwent RA PCI; 478 without AS and 66 with AS. Propensity matching yielded 35 matched pairs with improved balance in covariates of interest and no significant differences in baseline characteristics postmatching. In the matched cohort (n = 70) slow flow/no-reflow, coronary dissection, perforation, and hemodynamic instability were rare and not significantly different. Survival analyses revealed significantly higher 30-day (Log-Rank p = 0.02) and 1-year mortality (Log rank p = 0.02, HR 5.24 [95% CI 1.13 to 24.28]) in the severe AS group; driven by a fivefold increase in the hazard of death among patients who did not undergo transcatheter aortic valve replacement HR 4.98 [95% CI 1.03 to 24.1]. In conclusion, our study of 70 patients undergoing radial RA PCI suggests that it can be safely performed in patients with severe AS. Long-term outcomes after RA in patients with severe AS are determined by the presence of the valve disease and other co-morbidities.

Original publication




Journal article


Am J Cardiol

Publication Date





381 - 388