Paravalvular leak (PVL) is a complication that occurs in 5–17% of patients after surgical prosthetic valve implantation. Whereas PVLs can be benign, some PVLs are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Percutaneous closure using occluders specifically designed to improve closure and reduce procedural complications has now become the first-line treatment for PVL. In this Review, we first detail the frequency and clinical consequences of PVL closure. The role of cardiac imaging in the assessment and management of PVL, including echocardiographic imaging and adjunctive techniques such as CT, is then discussed, together with important considerations for the percutaneous closure of PVL, such as access site and device selection. Finally, we summarize the clinical evidence for percutaneous closure of PVL, including large national registries from Ireland, Spain and the UK, as well as head-to-head data comparing this procedure with surgical closure.
Paravalvular leak (PVL) is an important complication of valve replacement surgery and is associated with substantial morbidity and mortality.
Evidence is emerging for the important role of percutaneous transcatheter closure as the first-line treatment for patients with PVL.
The role of imaging, particularly fluoroscopy and 3D transoesophageal echocardiography, is important in the assessment, planning and treatment of PVLs.
A structural heart team approach (with all relevant specialists) is critical for good clinical decision making for patients with PVLs.
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The authors declare no competing interests.
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