Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation by the Left Axillary Approach: A Single-Center Experience

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Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is an accepted alternative treatment for severe symptomatic aortic stenosis in high-risk and inoperable patients. Femoral or transapical accesses are commonly used. We report our initial clinical experience with TAVI using the left-axillary artery approach.


A single-center, retrospective study of patients undergoing transaxillary TAVI between January 2010 and December 2012 was performed. Procedural success was defined as successful device implantation with reduction in the mean aortic gradient and without need for conversion to open-heart surgery. Short-term echocardiographic follow-up was obtained in all patients.


A total of 18 consecutive patients with severe aortic stenosis who were not candidates for surgical replacement underwent transaxillary TAVI. Mean age was 81.1 ± 7.3 years and 14 patients (78%) were male. Median logistic European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation was 8.5% (range, 1.5% to 54.1%). Procedural success was obtained in 17 out of 18 patients (94%). There was no in-hospital or 30-day mortality. One major bleeding complication in the form of an upper gastrointestinal bleeding was observed. No stroke or major vascular complication was reported. Postoperative implantation of a permanent pacemaker was performed in 7 patients (39%). At a mean follow-up of 326 ± 213 days, mean aortic gradient was 10.8 ± 4.8 mm Hg. Mean aortic valve area was 1.7 ± 0.4 cm2 and aortic insufficiency grade was mild or less in all but 1 patient, who showed moderate regurgitation.


The transaxillary approach for TAVI is associated with high procedural success and low rates of stroke, vascular, or bleeding complications. This approach is an appealing alternative to the commonly used transfemoral and transapical TAVI.

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