Objectives: This study was done to assess the results of percutaneous heart valve (PHV) implantation in non-surgical patients with end-stage calcific aortic stenosis.
Background: Replacement of PHV has been shown to be feasible in animals and humans. We developed a PHV composed of three pericardial leaflets inserted within a balloon-expandable stainless steel stent. We report the acute and early follow-up results of the initial six PHV implantations.
Methods: An anterograde approach was used in all cases. The PHV, crimped over a 22-mm diameter balloon, was advanced through a 24-F sheath from the femoral vein to the aortic valve and delivered by balloon inflation. Clinical, hemodynamic, and echocardiographic outcomes were assessed serially.
Results: All patients were in New York Heart Association functional class IV. The PHV was successfully delivered in five patients. Early migration with subsequent death occurred in one patient who presented with a torn native valve. Acute hemodynamic and angiographic results showed no residual gradient, mild (three patients) or severe (two patients) aortic regurgitation, and patent coronary arteries. On echocardiography, the aortic valve area was increased from 0.5 +/- 0.1 cm(2) to 1.70 +/- 0.03 cm(2) and the aortic regurgitation was paravalvular. Marked and sustained hemodynamic and clinical improvement was observed after successful PHV implants. The first three patients died of a non-cardiac cause at 18, 4, and 2 weeks, respectively, and the other patients are alive at 8 weeks with no signs of heart failure.
Conclusions: Implantation of the PHV can be achieved in patients with end-stage calcific aortic stenosis and might become an important therapeutic option for patients not amenable to surgical valve replacement.