Transcatheter, inflatable, and fully repositionable aortic valve: Preliminary results using a modified implantation technique

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We present our experience with an inflatable, non-metallic, fully retrievable, and repositionable transcatheter aortic valve [Direct Flow® Medical (DFM)] focusing on technical features adopted during implantation.


Implantation techniques of new generation percutaneous aortic valves are still developing and with experience implementations are described.


The “low pressure” (initial valve inflation at 4 ATM, lower than the recommended 12 ATM) and the “alternate aortic curve” techniques (initial valve pulling either from the wire running on the side of the inner or from the one on the outer aortic curve) are part of our modified protocol for DFM® implantation.


Forty-two consecutive patients underwent TAVI with DFM. The “low pressure” technique was used in all patients. In 27 (64.3%) patients the bulkiest calcifications were on the inner aortic curve side, and an inner curve technique was used to initiate valve pulling toward the annular hinge point. In the remaining 15 (35.7%) patients, an outer curve technique was used. Neither pull-through nor re-valving was reported. Valve performance showed mean gradient of 8.9 mm Hg. Mild paravalvular leak was reported in seven (16%) patients. No one experienced moderate or severe aortic insufficiency. Thirty-day mortality was 9.5% (4/42).


The “low pressure technique” and the “alternate curve technique” guarantee an anatomy and patient tailored approach to achieve controlled and finely tuned valve seating. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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