The development of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) by our group has been a 20-year odyssey. In 1993, postmortem studies validated the concept of intravalvular stenting in calcific aortic stenosis. The first prototypes of balloon-expandable valves were tested in an animal model in 2000. The first-in-man implantation was performed in Rouen in 2002, rapidly followed by two prospective series in compassionate cases in our centre. TAVI took flight in 2004 in the hands of Edwards Lifesciences, with major improvements in devices and approaches. At the same time, the self-expanding CoreValve was launched. Thousands of high-surgical-risk patients were enrolled in feasibility studies, leading to the Conformité Européenne (CE) mark being granted in 2007 for the two devices. A number of postmarketing registries have shown dramatic improvements in procedural and midterm results and decreased complication rates, with more experience and improved technology. The results of the randomized PARTNER study in the USA recently confirmed the important place of TAVI in non-operable and high-surgical-risk patients. To date, more than 50,000 patients have benefited from TAVI worldwide (2300 patients in 33 centres in France in 2011) and the number is consistently increasing. An optimal multidisciplinary collaboration and formally trained experienced physicians are the keys to success. An extension of indications to lower-risk patients might be expected in the coming years but should be cautiously investigated. Ten years after the first-in-man case, TAVI is here to stay and the future is promising.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.