Objective: To evaluate the feasibility of minimally invasive transapical beating heart aortic valve implantation (TAP-AVI) for high-risk patients with aortic stenosis.
Methods: TAP-AVI was performed via a small anterolateral minithoracotomy in 50 patients from February 2006 to March 2007. A balloon expandable transcatheter xenograft (Edwards SAPIEN THV, Edwards Lifesciences, Irvine, CA, USA) was used. Mean age was 82.4+/-5 years and 39 (78%) were female. Implantation was performed in a hybrid operative theatre using fluoroscopic and echocardiographic visualization. Average EuroSCORE predicted risk for mortality was 27.6+/-12%. Seven (14%) patients were re-operations with patent bypass grafts.
Results: TAP-AVI (13 patients 23 mm and 37 patients 26 mm) was successfully performed on the beating heart under temporary rapid ventricular pacing in 47 (94%) patients, and implantation was performed completely off-pump in 34 (68%) patients. Three patients required early conversion; two of them were successfully discharged. There was no prosthesis migration or embolization observed. Echocardiography revealed good hemodynamic function in all and minor incompetence in 23 patients, mostly paravalvular, without any signs of hemolysis. Mortality was due to the overall health condition and non-valve related in all patients. Actuarial survival at 1 month, 6 months and 1 year was 92+/-3.8%, 73.9+/-6.2% and 71.4+/-6.5%, respectively.
Conclusions: Transapical minimally invasive aortic valve implantation is feasible using an off-pump technique. Good results have been achieved in the initial 50 patients, especially when considering the overall high-risk profile of these patients.