Background: Stroke remains a feared complication associated with TAVI. Embolic cerebral injury occurs in the majority of TAVI cases and can lead to cognitive dysfunction.
Aims: The PROTEMBO C Trial evaluated the safety and performance of the ProtEmbo Cerebral Protection System in TAVI patients.
Methods: Forty-one patients were enrolled in this single-arm study conducted at 8 European centres. The primary safety endpoint was the rate of VARC 2-defined major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCE) at 30 days; the primary performance endpoint was the composite rate of technical success versus performance goals (PG). Secondary endpoints included brain diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI), new lesion volume, and the rate of death or all strokes compared to historical data.
Results: Thirty-seven of 41 enrolled patients underwent TAVI with the ProtEmbo device (intention-to-treat [ITT] population). Both primary endpoints were met. MACCE at 30 days was 8.1% (upper limit of the 95% confidence interval [CI]: 21.3% vs PG 25%; p=0.009), and technical success was 94.6% (lower limit of the 95% CI: 82.3% vs PG 75%; p=0.003). New DW-MRI lesion volumes with ProtEmbo were smaller than in historical data, and 87% of patients completing MRI follow-up had no single lesion >150 mm3. There was 1 stroke in a patient in whom the device was removed prematurely before TAVI completion.
Conclusions: The PROTEMBO C Trial met its primary safety and performance endpoints compared to prespecified historical PGs. Patients had smaller brain lesion volumes on DW-MRI compared to prior series and no larger single lesions. These results warrant further evaluation of the ProtEmbo in a larger randomised controlled trial (RCT).
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