Transaxillary Approach: Short- and Mid-Term Results in a Single-Center Experience

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Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is increasingly accepted as an alternative procedure in patients with severe, symptomatic aortic stenosis and high risk for surgical aortic valve replacement. Transfemoral (TF) approach is the first option when feasible, but in case of peripheral vascular disease this approach is precluded. In our institution, for this kind of patients we considered transaxillary (TAx) approach as second choice and transapical (TAp) or transaortic (TAa) as last routes. This study describes short- and mid-term morbidity and mortality for TAx approach.


From November 2007 to March 2011, 284 patients underwent TAVI at our site; 229 treated by TF approach, 22 TAp, 2 TAa, and 31 TAx. Four patients were treated with an Edwards Sapien valve (Edwards Lifesciences, Inc., Irvine, CA USA) with TAx approach and 27 with CoreValve Revalving System (Medtronic Inc., Minneapolis, MN USA). TAx TAVI was performed in cath-laboratory with local anesthesia and mild sedation by a multispeciality valve team. We analyzed major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events, major adverse valve-related events, vascular complications, and 30 days and 6 months mortality.


The procedural success rate (successful implantation of the device without intraprocedural mortality or need to conversion to open heart surgery) was 96.8% (30/31). Major adverse valve-related events were 12.9% (4/31). 30-day mortality was 6.4% (2/31) and actuarial survival at 6 months was 82.95% ± 7.96%. In one patient, procedure was converted to a TF CoreValve in emergency for hemodynamic instability after valvuloplasty due to severe difficulty to introduce the Edwards valve in the subclavian artery.


TAx approach is a feasible and technically simple procedure with encouraging results considering morbidity and mortality at short- and mid-term follow-up. TAx is a valid solution in patients with contraindications to TF approach and it is an alternative approach potentially less invasive than TAp or TAa.

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