Direct transapical aortic valve implantation: a modified transcatheter approach avoiding balloon predilatation

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Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (T-AVI) is an accepted alternative treatment option for patients with aortic stenosis seen inoperable or high risk for aortic valve (AV) replacement. However, a significant risk of stroke and cerebrovascular complications raises concern. Cerebral embolizations during T-AVI are frequent and recent data demonstrates that balloon aortic valvuloplasty during transcatheter procedures causes nearly as many high-intensity transient signals and microembolic signals as the deployment of the transcatheter heart valve itself. Omitting predilatation, therefore, may reduce the incidence of microembolizations and a possible stroke. We have developed a novel technique of 'Direct Transapical Aortic Valve Implantation', which enables surgeons to avoid predilatation of the native AV. So far, a total of six consecutive patients were treated using the Edwards SAPIEN XT (TM) transcatheter heart valve (Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA, USA). Compared with conventional transapical implantations using the same device, procedure time was shorter, less contrast used and duration of fluoroscopy reduced. Procedural success was achieved in all patients, and all were discharged home without greater than or equal to moderate paravalvular leakage observed. Direct transapical implantation is technically safe and effective, with shorter radiation/procedure times. It is the next logical step in the direction of a full percutaneous transapical approach and potentially can result in reduced microembolizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-736
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date30 May 2012
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


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