Cerebral Protection in Trans-Catheter Aortic Valve Replacement: Review and Contemporary Assessment of Randomized Trial Data

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As the population has aged and as aortic valve therapies have evolved, the use of trans-catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has grown dramatically over the past decade. A well-known complication of percutaneous cardiac intervention is embolic phenomena, and TAVR is among the highest risk procedures for clinical and subclinical stroke. As indications for TAVR expand to lower-risk and ultimately younger patients, the long-term consequences of stroke are amplified. Cerebral embolic protection (CEP) devices have taken a on unique preventative role following the Food and Drug Administration approval of the SentinelTM Cerebral Protection System (CPS). More recently, the PROTECTED TAVR study has spurred extensive debate in the neuro-cardiac community. In this review we describe the contemporary literature regarding stroke risk associated with TAVR, the history and role of CEP devices, a PROTECTED TAVR sub-group analysis, and implications for next steps in the field. Lastly, we explore the unique need for CEP in a younger TAVR population, as well as directions for future research.