Transaortic Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation: Learning Curve, Perioperative, and Midterm Follow-Up Results of a Single Center
Background: We present our initial institutional experience with transaortic (TAo) transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) using a self-expanding aortic bioprosthesis.
Methods: A total of 106 patients underwent TAo TAVI with Medtronic CoreValve through a small partial upper sternotomy. We focus our analysis on the overall perioperative results, procedural learning curve (first 30 patients), and midterm follow-up outcomes.
Results: VARC-2 device success was achieved in 95 patients (89%), and there were no intraoperative deaths. Nine patients (8.4%) required a second valve and conversion to standard surgery was required in 2 patients (1.8%). The final aortic insufficiency was grade 0 in 65 patients (62%) and grade 1 in 39 (37%). Although patients treated in the TAo TAVI learning phase required a significantly longer radiation time and contrast agent use, device success (93.4% versus 88.2%; P = .7) and prostheses hemodynamics were similar. All-cause mortality at 30 days was 12% (13/106). At a median follow-up of 392 days (IQR: 216-494 days) estimated overall 1-year survival was 72%. No significant differences were reported in terms of 30-day and 1-year observed mortality, and estimated 1-year survival in the learning and later phase of TAo TAVI.
Conclusion: TAo TAVI can be performed safely even in the very early phase of the learning curve. Although satisfactory results can be achieved from the beginning, a significant reduction in contrast agent use and radiological exposure are expected as the technique is mastered. Good hemodynamics have been documented and should be further improved with modifications achieved in the TAVI self-expandable valves technology.
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