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Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2019 Jun 24. doi: 10.1002/ccd.28374. [Epub ahead of print]

A rare cause of stroke after transcatheter aortic valve replacement: Retained foreign body.

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Cardiology and Structural Heart, Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, West Virginia.
Internal Medicine, Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, West Virginia.
Cardiology and Vascular Medicine, Charleston Area Medical Center, Charleston, West Virginia.
Cardiology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia.
Department of Surgery, West Virginia University, Charleston, West Virginia.


The field of transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has matured significantly with the outcome and durability data now supporting use in lower-risk patients. We present a preventable complication from early in our experience (5 years ago) that illustrates the importance of heart team communication and cautious multidiscipline cross-pollination during the formative years of a program. An 87-year old female developed confusion, slurred speech and left upper extremity weakness 1 day following TAVR with inconclusive findings on carotid artery duplex and transthoracic echocardiography. Subsequent CT-scan disclosed a linear, ring-like, structure in the ascending aorta. The foreign body (FB) was radiolucent and successfully snared via tactile sensation and anatomic landmarks informed by the CT. The extricated FB was the valvuloplasty balloon guard (BG) that was inadvertently introduced into the patient via ascending aortic large sheath access. The failure mode was traced back to the first time use of a new balloon system and unrecognized BG by the surgical physician and technician components of the Heart Team who took the lead role in device insertion due to the open chest access. Subsequently, the heart team made changes to mitigate similar future complications by sharing multidiscipline responsibility for all procedural steps and ensuring the use of all new adjuvant devices are preceded by a procedural pause and team consensus regarding device preparation and use. Additionally, the manufacturer addition of a radiopaque marker or flair on the valvuloplasty BG may be warranted.


complication; embolization; valvuloplasty


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