BACKGROUND: A significant number of older patients planned for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) experience a decline in physical functioning and death, despite a successful procedure.
OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the literature on the association of preprocedural muscle strength and physical performance with functional decline or long-term mortality after TAVI.
METHODS: We followed the PRISMA guidelines and pre-registered this review at PROSPERO (CRD42020208032). A systematic search was conducted in MEDLINE and EMBASE from inception to 10 December 2021. Studies reporting on the association of preprocedural muscle strength or physical performance with functional decline or long-term (>6 months) mortality after the TAVI procedure were included. For outcomes reported by three or more studies, a meta-analysis was performed.
RESULTS: In total, two studies reporting on functional decline and 29 studies reporting on mortality were included. The association with functional decline was inconclusive. For mortality, meta-analysis showed that low handgrip strength (hazard ratio (HR) 1.80 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.22-2.63]), lower distance on the 6-minute walk test (HR 1.15 [95% CI: 1.09-1.21] per 50 m decrease), low performance on the timed up and go test (>20 s) (HR 2.77 [95% CI: 1.79-4.30]) and slow gait speed (<0.83 m/s) (HR 2.24 [95% CI: 1.32-3.81]) were associated with higher long-term mortality.
CONCLUSIONS: Low muscle strength and physical performance are associated with higher mortality after TAVI, while the association with functional decline stays inconclusive. Future research should focus on interventions to increase muscle strength and physical performance in older cardiac patients.