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J Thorac Dis. 2015 Sep;7(9):1543-7. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2072-1439.2015.07.27.

Preferential short cut or alternative route: the transaxillary access for transcatheter aortic valve implantation.

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1 Department for General and Interventional Cardiology, 2 Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, University Heart Center, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.


Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has gained widespread acceptance as a treatment option for patients at high risk for conventional aortic valve replacement. The most commonly used access site for TAVI is the common femoral artery. Yet, in a significant number of patients the transfemoral access is not suitable due to peripheral vascular disease of the lower extremity. In these cases the transaxillary approach can serve as an alternative implantation route. By considering the anatomical requirements and providing an adequate endovascular "safety-net" during the procedure the transaxillary TAVI approach results in excellent procedural and clinical outcome. However, whether the transaxillary access for TAVI is superior to other non-transfemoral approaches (e.g., transapical or direct aortic) needs to be studied in the future in a prospective randomized trial.


Aortic stenosis; axillary artery; transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI)

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