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The introduction of the first percutaneous heart valve by Bonhoeffer in 1999, followed by the first percutaneous aortic valve in a human in 2002 by Cribier and colleagues marked the beginning of an era for patients with advanced valve disease.1 ,2 Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) now offers the ability to treat otherwise ‘non-operable’ and high-risk patients with aortic stenosis. To date, more than 50 000 TAVR procedures have been performed worldwide with newer valve systems entering clinical trials.3 Pivotal randomised trials, including The Placement of AoRTic TraNscathetER Valve (PARTNER) Trials and the recently reported Medtronic CoreValve United States Pivotal Trial, have shown the benefit of this therapy in high-risk and non-operable patients with 1-year mortality rates of 24.2% and 30.7%, respectively.4 ,5 These impressive findings have also been confirmed in large-scale registry data from the UK and Europe with high procedural success, low stroke rates and acceptable 1-year mortality.6
Imaging with transoesophageal echocardiography
Prior to the implant procedure, accurate measurements of the aortic annulus diameter and perimeter are required in order to select the appropriate valve size.7 During the procedure, both the balloon …
Competing interests Dr Shavelle is currently a co-investigator for the following ongoing Medtronic CoreValve clinical trials: Safety and Efficacy Continued Access Study of the Medtronic CoreValve® System in the Treatment of Symptomatic Severe Aortic Stenosis in Very High Risk Subjects and High Risk Subjects Who Need Aortic Valve Replacement and Safety and Efficacy Study of the Medtronic CoreValve® System in the Treatment of Severe, Symptomatic Aortic Stenosis in Intermediate Risk Subjects Who Need Aortic Valve Replacement (SURTAVI).
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.