Transcatheter aortic valve replacement: experience with the transapical approach, alternate access sites, and concomitant cardiac repairs

Jason Aguirre, Robin Waskowski, Kanhaiya Poddar, Samir Kapadia, Amar Krishnaswamy, Rebecca McCullough, Stephanie Mick, Jose L Navia, Eric E Roselli, Murat E Tuzcu, Joseph F Sabik, Bruce W Lytle, Lars G Svensson
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2014, 148 (4): 1417-22

OBJECTIVES: Transapical transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TA-TAVR) is a viable treatment option for selected high-risk elderly patients. We analyzed the 30-day mortality and perioperative complications, focusing on the "learning curve" since our first TA procedure in 2007. We also introduce unique cases, demonstrating new possibilities for alternate access sites and concurrent cardiac interventions using the apical approach.

METHODS: From February 2007 to May 2013, 150 patients underwent TA-TAVR (mean age, 81.4 ± 7 years; mean Society of Thoracic Surgeons score, 9.8±3.5). We compared 2 groups (group A, n=65, procedures from February 2007 to December 2010; group B, n=85, procedures from January 2011 to May 2013).

RESULTS: Five deaths (3.3%) occurred within 30 days, with a decrease in 30-day mortality between the 2 groups (group A, n=4, 6.2%; group B, n=1, 1.2%) that became significant at 1 year (log-rank, P=.002). Severe bleeding from the apex (group A, 4.6%; group B 4.4%) and deployment of >1 valve (group A, 7.6%; group B, 10.5%) was similar in both groups. Valve embolization was less frequent in group B (group A, 4.6%; group B, 2.4%). Postoperative complications in groups A and B included stroke (3.1% vs 0%), renal failure (9.3% vs 4.7%), and permanent pacemaker implantation (6.1% vs 5.9%). No myocardial infarctions occurred in either group. Two patients received simultaneous aortic and mitral valve implantation; 1 patient undergoing TA-TAVR also underwent distal arch and descending aorta repair; all had favorable outcomes. With a further 25 TA-TAVR since May 2013, the overall mortality is 2.9% (5/175).

CONCLUSIONS: Although working with the fragile apical tissues in high-risk elderly patients remains a challenge, we have demonstrated a reduction in mortality and complications with increasing experience in TA-TAVR. We have successfully demonstrated novel combined procedures and uses for the transapical approach and alternate access sites, which should continue to be explored.

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