Apical-access-related complications associated with trans-catheter aortic valve implantation

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2011 Aug;40(2):469-74. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2010.11.076. Epub 2011 Jan 15.


Objective: The left-ventricular trans-apical access has become well established for trans-catheter aortic valve implantation, especially for patients in whom a retrograde trans-arterial implantation is contraindicated. We report on the short- and long-term implications of the apical-access-site-specific complications.

Methods: Between June 2007 and August 2010, 143 patients were scheduled for trans-apical aortic valve implantation (mean age 80 ± 6 years, n=116 females, mean logistic EuroSCORE (European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation) 21 ± 13%). The patients are followed up at 30 days, 6 months, and then annually.

Results: Severe apical bleeding complications occurred in 10 patients (7%). In three of these patients, the procedure was terminated, and no valve was implanted. In the remaining, the bleeding was controlled with cardiopulmonary bypass support (n=3), via median sternotomy (n=1), or both (n=1) ± later re-exploration. Two additional patients required postprocedural re-exploration for apical bleeding. An apical pseudo-aneurysm developed in two patients (2%), one of whom was treated by surgical revision. Survival was significantly impaired when either apical bleeding, aneurysm, or re-exploration occurred (75% ± 0.082 survival at 30 days and 59% ± 0.122 at 1 year vs 94% ± 0.023 and 80% ± 0.043 in patients without apical complications, p=0.012). Twelve patients (8%) experienced secondary wound healing. An apical hypo- or akinesia was detected in 18/54 (33%) patients at 6 months' echocardiographic investigation, and in 11/30 (37%) 1 year after the procedure.

Conclusions: The trans-apical access for trans-catheter aortic valve implantation might be challenging in elderly patients with fragile tissue. Severe bleeding complications or aneurysm formation significantly impairs survival. The clinical impact of subsequent apical hypo- or akinesia has to be further followed up.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm, False / etiology
  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Blood Loss, Surgical
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Aneurysm / etiology
  • Heart Valve Diseases / surgery*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / adverse effects*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Reoperation