OBJECTIVES: Despite evidence, frailty is not routinely assessed before cardiac surgery. We compared five brief frailty tests for predicting poor outcomes after aortic valve replacement and evaluated a strategy of performing comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) in screen-positive patients.
DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.
SETTING: A single academic center.
PARTICIPANTS: Patients undergoing surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR) (n = 91; mean age = 77.8 y) or transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) (n = 137; mean age = 84.5 y) from February 2014 to June 2017.
MEASUREMENTS: Brief frailty tests (Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illness, and Loss of weight [FRAIL] scale; Clinical Frailty Scale; grip strength; gait speed; and chair rise) and a deficit-accumulation frailty index based on CGA (CGA-FI) were measured at baseline. A composite of death or functional decline and severe symptoms at 6 months was assessed.
RESULTS: The outcome occurred in 8.8% (n = 8) after SAVR and 24.8% (n = 34) after TAVR. The chair rise test showed the highest discrimination in the SAVR (C statistic = .76) and TAVR cohorts (C statistic = .63). When the chair rise test was chosen as a screening test (=17 s for SAVR and =23 s for TAVR), the incidence of outcome for screen-negative patients, screen-positive patients with CGA-FI of .34 or lower, and screen-positive patients with CGA-FI higher than .34 were 1.9% (n = 1/54), 5.3% (n = 1/19), and 33.3% (n = 6/18) after SAVR, respectively, and 15.0% (n = 9/60), 14.3% (n = 3/21), and 38.3% (n = 22/56) after TAVR, respectively. Compared with routinely performing CGA, targeting CGA to screen-positive patients would result in 54 fewer CGAs, without compromising sensitivity (routine vs targeted: .75 vs .75; P = 1.00) and specificity (.84 vs .86; P = 1.00) in the SAVR cohort; and 60 fewer CGAs with lower sensitivity (.82 vs.65; P = .03) and higher specificity (.50 vs .67; P < .01) in the TAVR cohort.
CONCLUSIONS: The chair rise test with targeted CGA may be a practical strategy to identify older patients at high risk for mortality and poor recovery after SAVR and TAVR in whom individualized care management should be considered.
The great difference in outcome between surgical (8.8%) and transcatheter (24.8%) valve replacement is suggesting a great difference in the selection strategy, which should be taken into account also for a different frailty analysis in the two groups.