Article: article from journal or magazin.
Apical access and closure devices for transapical transcatheter heart valve procedures.
Swiss Medical Weekly
Publication types: Journal Article Publication Status: epublish
The majority of transcatheter aortic valve implantations, structural heart procedures and the newly developed transcatheter mitral valve repair and replacement are traditionally performed either through a transfemoral or a transapical access site, depending on the presence of severe peripheral vascular disease or anatomic limitations. The transapical approach, which carries specific advantages related to its antegrade nature and the short distance between the introduction site and the cardiac target, is traditionally performed through a left anterolateral mini-thoracotomy and requires rib retractors, soft tissue retractors and reinforced apical sutures to secure, at first, the left ventricular apex for the introduction of the stent-valve delivery systems and then to seal the access site at the end of the procedure. However, despite the advent of low-profile apical sheaths and newly designed delivery systems, the apical approach represents a challenge for the surgeon, as it has the risk of apical tear, life-threatening apical bleeding, myocardial damage, coronary damage and infections. Last but not least, the use of large-calibre stent-valve delivery systems and devices through standard mini-thoracotomies compromises any attempt to perform transapical transcatheter structural heart procedures entirely percutaneously, as happens with the transfemoral access site, or via a thoracoscopic or a miniaturised video-assisted percutaneous technique. During the past few years, prototypes of apical access and closure devices for transapical heart valve procedures have been developed and tested to make this standardised successful procedure easier. Some of them represent an important step towards the development of truly percutaneous transcatheter transapical heart valve procedures in the clinical setting.
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