Novel fast-track recovery protocol for alternative access transcatheter aortic valve replacement: application to non-femoral approaches

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2018 Jun 1;26(6):938-943. doi: 10.1093/icvts/ivx409.


Objectives: Although the transfemoral approach for transcatheter aortic valve replacement is the preferred choice, alternative access remains indicated for inadequate iliofemoral vessels. We report the successful implementation of a novel fast-track (FT) protocol for patients undergoing alternative access transcatheter aortic valve replacement compared with conventional controls.

Methods: Between September 2014 and January 2017, 31 and 23 patients underwent alternative access transcatheter aortic valve replacement under FT and pre-fast-track (p-FT) protocols, respectively. Comparisons of outcomes (in terms of mortality, complications, readmissions and resource utilization) were made before and after the implantation of the FT protocol in September 2015.

Results: Overall, mean age was 78.7 years in FT and 79.6 years in p-FT patients (P = 0.71). There were no significant differences in procedural (3.2% vs 13.0%, P = 0.301) or 90-day mortality (3.2% vs 17.4%, P = 0.151) between the FT and p-FT groups, respectively. Compared with p-FT patients, FT patients had significantly shorter intensive care unit stays (12 h vs 27 h, P = 0.006) and a trend towards more discharges within 3 days (41.9% vs 17.4%, P = 0.081). Resource utilization analyses projected a 56% and 17% reduction in the mean intensive care unit time (hours) per 100 patients and the total length of stay (days) per 100 patients, respectively, with respect to the FT approach.

Conclusions: This pilot study demonstrates the feasibility and safety of the novel FT protocol for alternative access transcatheter aortic valve replacement, resulting in shorter intensive care unit stays, without increasing procedural complications or readmissions. With the expected increase in transcatheter aortic valve replacement utilization, FT protocols should be integrated with a multidisciplinary heart team approach to enhance patient recovery and optimize resource utilization.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units
  • Length of Stay
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Recovery of Function
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement*
  • Treatment Outcome