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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Mar 21;47(6):1214-23. Epub 2006 Feb 9.

Treatment of calcific aortic stenosis with the percutaneous heart valve: mid-term follow-up from the initial feasibility studies: the French experience.

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Department of Cardiology, Charles Nicolle Hospital, Rouen, France.



The aim of this work was to study the feasibility, safety, efficacy, and durability of percutaneous heart valve (PHV) implantation in the aortic position.


We developed a PHV (equine pericardium valve in a balloon-expandable, stainless-steel stent) to treat patients with inoperable aortic stenosis (AS).


Thirty-six patients (aortic valve area < or =0.7 cm2, New York Heart Association [NYHA] functional class IV, and severe comorbidities), formally declined for surgery, were recruited on a compassionate basis. The PHV was implanted by retrograde or antegrade trans-septal approach. Clinical and echocardiographic outcomes were assessed serially.


Twenty-seven patients were implanted successfully (23 antegrade, 4 retrograde) in the subcoronary position with improvement in valve area (0.60 +/- 0.11 cm2 to 1.70 +/- 0.10 cm2, p < 0.0001) and transvalvular gradient (37 +/- 13 mm Hg to 9 +/- 2 mm Hg, p < 0.0001). Paravalvular aortic regurgitation was grade 0 to 1 (n = 10), grade 2 (n = 12), and grade 3 (n = 5). One week post-procedure, improvement in left ventricular function (45 +/- 18% to 53 +/- 14%, p = 0.02) was most pronounced in patients with ejection fraction <50% (35 +/- 10% to 50 +/- 16%, p < 0.0001). Thirty-day major adverse events after successful implantation were 26% (pericardial tamponade, stroke, arrhythmia, urosepsis, and one death unexplained at autopsy). Eleven patients are currently alive with follow-up of 9 months (n = 2), 10 months (n = 3), 11 months (n = 1), 12 months (n = 2), 23 months (n = 1), and 26 months (n = 2). All patients experienced amelioration of symptoms (>90% NYHA functional class I to II). Percutaneous heart valve function remained unchanged during follow-up, and no deaths were device-related.


Percutaneous heart valve implantation is feasible in inoperable patients with end-stage AS leading to hemodynamic and clinical improvement. Continued advances and improved patient selection should decrease adverse events in the near future.

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