Transcatheter aortic valve implantation

Dan Med J. 2012 Dec;59(12):B4556.


Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) was introduced experimentally in 1989, based on a newly developed heart valve prosthesis - the stentvalve. The valve was invented by a Danish cardiologist named Henning Rud Andersen. The new valve was revolutionary. It was foldable and could be inserted via a catheter through an artery in the groin, without the need for heart lung machine. This allowed for a new valve implantation technique, much less invasive than conventional surgical aortic valve replacement (SAVR). Surgical aortic valve replacement is safe and improves symptoms along with survival. However, up to 1/3 of patients with aortic valve stenosis cannot complete the procedure due to frailty. The catheter technique was hoped to provide a new treatment option for these patients. The first human case was in 2002, but more widespread clinical use did not begin until 2006-2010. Today, in 2011, more than 40,000 valves have been implanted worldwide. Initially, because of the experimental character of the procedure, TAVI was reserved for patients who could not undergo SAVR due to high risk. The results in this group of patients were promising. The procedural safety was acceptable, and the patients experienced significant improvements in their symptoms. Three of the papers in this PhD-thesis are based on the outcome of TAVI at Skejby Hospital, in this high-risk population [I, II and IV]. Along with other international publications, they support TAVI as being superior to standard medical treatment, despite a high risk of prosthetic regurgitation. These results only apply to high-risk patients, who cannot undergo SAVR. The main purpose of this PhD study has been to investigate the quality of TAVI compared to SAVR, in order to define the indications for this new procedure. The article attached [V] describes a prospective clinical randomised controlled trial, between TAVI to SAVR in surgically amenable patients over 75 years of age with isolated aortic valve stenosis. The study was terminated prematurely, as patients undergoing TAVI showed a statistically non-significant trend towards more complications than SAVR patients. Although non-significant the study was closed for ethical reasons. At present, scientific evidence supports TAVI as being superior to standard medical treatment, in patients who cannot undergo SAVR due to high- predicted risk. However, in patients who are surgically amenable, current publications suggest that TAVI using presently available devices is not competitive to SAVR, with regards to procedural safety and outcome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / adverse effects
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Prosthesis Failure
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Risk Assessment
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultrasonography