Patients with severe aortic stenosis are increasingly treated with transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) as a safer option to surgical aortic valve replacement (sAVR). Similar to many other heart diseases, after the specific therapeutic intervention patients are eligible for cardiac rehabilitation (CR) for the purpose of functional recovery. Thus far, CR after both sAVR and TAVI has been used to a limited extent, as shown by the availability of only two meta-analyses including 5 studies and 6 studies, respectively. Recent observational studies reported a significant improvement in functional indexes such as the Barthel scale and the 6-minute walk test (6MWT). We evaluated the outcome of CR in patients after TAVI treatment by measuring changes in the commonly used Barthel scale and 6MWT and adding the short physical performance battery (SPPB) scale as an index to assess lower extremity function. All indexes demonstrated a significant improvement, namely p<0.001 with the Barthel scale, p=0.043 for the 6MWT, and p=0.002 for SPPB. These results confirm the significant improvement of the Barthel scale and 6MWT reported in the previous meta-analysis and suggest the utility of SPPB as a further index of efficacy of CR in patients with severe aortic stenosis treated with TAVI.
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