Anesthetic management of transcatheter aortic valve implantation with transaxillary approach

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2011 Jun;25(3):437-43. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2010.08.015. Epub 2010 Oct 29.


Objective: To describe the anesthetic management of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) with the transaxillary approach.

Design: An observational cohort study.

Setting: Two university hospitals.

Participants: Twenty-two patients with severe aortic stenosis (± regurgitation) at high risk for surgical valve replacement, with contraindications for transfemoral TAVI (81 ± 4.9 years; logistic EuroSCORE, 27% ± 16.9%).

Intervention: General anesthesia or local anesthesia plus sedation followed by postoperative care.

Measurements and main results: Local anesthesia plus sedation and general anesthesia were used in 14 and 8 patients, respectively. Two patients undergoing local anesthesia were monitored with transesophageal echocardiography and supported with noninvasive mask ventilation during the procedure. Main complications included hemodynamic instability requiring inotropes (2 patients), severe postimplant aortic regurgitation requiring immediate second valve-in-valve implantation (1 patient), valve embolization requiring open-valve surgery (1 patient), subclavian artery dissection compromising the flow to a mammary artery graft (1 patient), ascending aortic dissection (1 patient), stroke (2 patients), and atrioventricular block requiring pacemaker implantation (3 patients). Four patients experienced an increased (baseline value × 1.5) postoperative serum creatinine. Five patients required red blood cell tranfusions (2 units). Intensive care unit stay and hospital stay were 6 (4-23) hours and 8 (8-9) days, respectively. All patients were alive 30 days after the procedure. The 6-month mortality was 9%.

Conclusions: Transaxillary TAVI is feasible in high-risk patients with aortic stenosis and peripheral vasculopathy. Nevertheless, severe procedural complications are possible, and anesthesiologists should be prepared to assist in the management of these conditions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anesthesia, General / methods*
  • Aortic Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ultrasonography