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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2014 Oct;46(4):693-8; discussion 698. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezt619. Epub 2014 Jan 14.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation through carotid artery access under local anaesthesia.

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Centre Chirurgical Marie Lannelongue, Le Plessis Robinson, France
Centre Chirurgical Marie Lannelongue, Le Plessis Robinson, France.



Trans-femoral and transapical are the most commonly used accesses for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI). However, when these approaches are unsuitable, alternative accesses are needed. We report a series of 19 patients undergoing TAVI through common carotid artery (CCA) access under local anaesthesia in order to assess its feasibility and safety.


From November 2008 to September 2013, 361 patients underwent TAVI at our institution. Nineteen of them (14 men) with mean age 82.2 ± 6.2 years, EuroSCORE 25.2 ± 15.7, Society of Thoracic Surgeons score 11.9 ± 5.1 and with severe peripheral arteriopathy were unsuitable for usual approaches and underwent TAVI through CCA access under local anaesthesia. Preoperative computed tomography assessed suitable carotid artery anatomy. Common carotid cross-clamping test allowed verifying patient's neurological status stability. An 18-Fr or 20-Fr sheath inserted into the CCA down into the ascending aorta was used for the delivery catheter. Valve implantation procedures were as usual. After sheath removal, the CCA was surgically purged and repaired. Feasibility and safety end points (VARC-2) were collected up to 30 days.


Transcarotid insertion of the delivery sheath was successful in all cases (8 right, 11 left) and accurate deployment of the device was achieved in 18 patients (4 Edwards SAPIEN XT and 14 Medtronic CoreValve). There was 1 intraoperative death by annulus rupture during preimplant balloon valvuloplasty, and 1 in-hospital death due to multisystem organ failure. There was no myocardial infarction, stroke or major bleeding. Third-degree atrioventricular block requiring pacemaker implantation occurred in 3 patients. No vascular access-site, access-related or other TAVI-related complication occurred. Echocardiography revealed good prosthesis functioning with none, mild and moderate paravalvular leak in, respectively, 8, 9 and 1 patients. Patient ambulation was immediate after TAVI and hospital stay was 4.6 ± 2.3 days.


TAVI through the CCA approach under local anaesthesia is feasible and safe. It allows continuous clinical neurological status monitoring with low risk of stroke, bleeding events, vascular access-site and access-related complications and immediate patient ambulation. It appears to be a valuable alternative access for patients who cannot undergo trans-femoral TAVI.


Local anaesthesia; Transcarotid access; Transcatheter aortic valve implantation

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