Post-introduction observation of transcatheter aortic valve implantation in Galicia (Spain).
Rationale, aims and objectives Transcatheter aortic valve implantation constitutes an example of a technology introduced into the Galician Health Care System basket and subjected to a post-introduction observational study after coverage. This paper aims to describe the process and results of this experience, illustrating the main challenges and opportunities in using these studies for supporting decision making. Methods The study protocol was developed by a multidisciplinary team consisting of experts from the Galician HTA Agency (avalia-t), interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. Together they agreed on the information that was relevant and feasible for collection, and planned the study design, data collection and analysis of results. Results During the 1-year recruitment period, 94 patients underwent percutaneous aortic valve replacement in the three authorized centres. Implantation rate and prosthesis models differed substantially across the centres. Overall, procedural success rate was 96.8% and hospital mortality was 7.4%. Complications during post-surgical admission were recorded in 40.4% of patients. Moderate residual aortic regurgitation was observed in 10% of patients, and the procedure was associated with a stroke rate of 3.3% at 30 days and 5.3% at 1 year. Conclusions Post-introduction observation has made it feasible to determine the use of this procedure within the SERGAS context and has enabled the assessment of performance in real-life conditions. The proposed strategic actions and interventions have been drawn up based upon the collective judgement of a group of experienced professionals, and have served to establish recommendations on further research that would be required to optimize health benefits.