TAVR and cancer: machine learning-augmented propensity score mortality and cost analysis in over 30 million patients

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer are the top mortality causes globally, yet little is known about how the diagnosis of cancer affects treatment options in patients with hemodynamically compromising aortic stenosis (AS). Patients with cancer often are excluded from aortic valve replacement (AVR) trials including trials with transcatheter AVR (TAVR) and surgical AVR (SAVR). This study looks at how cancer may influence treatment options and assesses the outcome of patients with cancer who undergo SAVR or TAVR intervention. Additionally, we sought to quantitate and compare both clinical and cost outcomes for patients with and without cancer.

Methods: This population-based case-control study uses the most recent year available National Inpatient Sample (NIS (2016) from the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Machine learning augmented propensity score adjusted multivariable regression was conducted based on the likelihood of undergoing TAVR versus medical management (MM) and TAVR versus SAVR with model optimization supported by backward propagation neural network machine learning.

Results: Of the 30,195,722 total hospital admissions, 39,254 (0.13%) TAVRs were performed, with significantly fewer performed in patients with versus without cancer even in those of comparable age and mortality risk (23.82% versus 76.18%, p < 0.001) despite having similar hospital and procedural mortality. Multivariable regression in patients with cancer demonstrated that mortality was similar for TAVR, MM, and SAVR, though LOS and cost was significantly lower for TAVR versus MM and comparable for TAVR versus SAVR. Patients with prostate cancer constituted the largest primary cancer among TAVR patients including those with metastatic disease. There were no significant race or geographic disparities for TAVR mortality.

Discussion: Comparison of aortic valve intervention in patients with and without cancer suggests that interventions are underutilized in the cancer population. This study suggests that patients with cancer including those with metastasis have similar inpatient outcomes to patients without cancer. Further, patients who have symptomatic AS and those with higher risk aortic valve disease should be offered the benefit of intervention. Modern techniques have reduced intervention-related adverse events, provided improved quality of life, and appear to be cost effective; these advantages should not necessarily be denied to patients with co-existing cancer.