OBJECTIVE: Trans-apical aortic valve implantation (TA-AVI) has evolved into a standard approach for high-risk, elderly patients using the balloon-expandable Edwards SAPIEN prosthesis. As an alternative device, a self-expanding sub-coronary trans-apical bioprosthesis was evaluated., METHODS: The Symetis Acurate trans-catheter heart valve is composed of a porcine biologic valve attached to a self-expandable nitinol stent. It allows for anatomical orientation, and facilitates intuitive implantation providing tactile feedback. Three valves sizes were available to treat patients with an annular diameter between 21 and 27mm., RESULTS: Since November 2009, a total of 40 patients have been treated at three sites. Patient age was 82.8+4 years, 60% were female, logistic EuroSCORE (European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation) was 21.5+10.9% and Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Score was 9.0+4.6%. All implants were delivered successfully in the intra-annular and sub-coronary position off pump. One patient was converted to conventional surgery due to coronary impingement; post-dilatation was performed in 45% of patients; and two patients required the SAPIEN valve in valve implantation. Echocardiographic and angiographic control revealed no/trivial aortic incompetence (AI) in 59%, mild AI in 33.3%, and moderate AI in 7.7% of the patients. Three patients died within 30 days from a non-valve-related cause (respiratory), the patient converted did not recover from right-heart failure, and one patient died on day 19 due to unclear reasons. There was one incidence of new-onset atrioventricular (AV) block requiring pacemaker implantation. Two patients suffered a stroke (one secondary and the other intraprocedural). Transvalvular gradients were maximum 29.4+10.7mmHg and mean 14.3+6.8mmHg., CONCLUSION: The initial clinical results indicate a relatively straightforward implantation procedure and good functional results after trans-apical implantation of the Symetis Acurate device. Copyright 2011 European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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