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Transcatheter aortic valve implantation: the procedure
  1. Stefan Stortecky,
  2. Lutz Buellesfeld,
  3. Peter Wenaweser,
  4. Stephan Windecker
  1. Department of Cardiology, Swiss Cardiovascular Centre Bern, Bern University Hospital, Bern, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Stephan Windecker, Department of Cardiology, Swiss Cardiovascular Centre Bern, Bern University Hospital, Bern 3010, Switzerland; stephan.windecker{at}


Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) for the treatment of symptomatic severe aortic stenosis has emerged as an effective treatment for high risk patients. In 2002 TAVI was performed for the first time in a human by Alain Cribier, using an antegrade access approach via the femoral vein, crossing the intra-atrial septum after puncture and passing the native aortic valve in the direction of blood flow. This technically demanding approach was subsequently replaced by retrograde transfemoral arterial access. For patients with severe peripheral vascular disease or inadequately sized femoral arteries, the transapical route provides an alternative route with antegrade access to the aortic valve via puncture of the anterolateral wall of the left ventricle. The transsubclavian access approach using most frequently the left subclavian artery and direct transaortic access have been introduced more recently and attest to the versatility of TAVI in terms of access site. This article will focus on the different access site options available to operators, provide a step-by-step guide through the procedure, and a detailed description of the technological evolution of transcatheter heart valve systems.

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