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Anesthetic management for percutaneous aortic valve implantation: an overview of worldwide experiences.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia and Intensive Care, Universit√† Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Milan, Italy.


Transcatheter aortic valve implantation is an emergent technique for high risk patients with aortic stenosis. Transcatheter aortic valve implantation poses significant challenges about its management, due to the procedure itself (i.e. the passage of large stiff sheaths in diseased vessels, the valve dilatation and the prosthesis positioning during a partial cardiac standstill) and the population of elder and high-risk patients who undergo the implantation. Retrograde transfemoral approach is the most popular procedure and a great number of cases is reported. Nevertheless, there is not a consensus regarding the intraoperative anesthesiological strategies, which vary in the different Centers. Sedation plus local anesthesia or general anesthesia are both valid alternatives and can be applied according to patient's characteristics and procedural instances. Most groups started the implantation program with a general anesthesia; indeed, it offers many advantages, mainly regarding the possibility of an early diagnosis and treatment of potential complications, through the use of the transesophageal echocardiography. However, after the initial experiences, many groups began to employ routinely sedation plus local anesthesia for transcatheter aortic valve implantation and their procedural and periprocedural success demonstrates that it is feasible, with many possible advantages. Many aspects about perioperative anesthetic management for transcatheter aortic valve implantation are still to be defined. Aim of this work is to clarify the different management strategies through a review of the available literature published in pubmed till June 2011.


TAVI; anestesia; aortic stenosis; aortic valve replacement; intensive care

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