Alternative access in transcatheter aortic valve implantation : brachiocephalic artery access
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Innovations : technology & techniques in cardiothoracic & vascular surgery
, p. 372-375
University of Antwerp
Direct ascending aortic access is an accepted alternative approach for transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) that can be preferred in case of excessive atherosclerosis or small caliber of femoral and subclavian vessels or after previous coronary artery bypass grafting with a patent left internal mammary artery graft. However, not all patients are suitable for this direct aortic approach. In these patients, we now use direct access through the brachiocephalic artery. The direct brachiocephalic access can be obtained with or without partial upper sternotomy, depending on the anatomy, which should be evaluated by preprocedural angiographic computed tomography scan. During the procedure, the cerebral tissue oxygen saturation is continuously monitored. We treated two patients with severe aortic valve stenosis, classified as not suitable for surgical aortic valve replacement, by means of TAVI through the brachiocephalic artery. Both patients had excessive iliac atherosclerotic disease. One had patent left internal mammary artery and venous grafts after previous coronary artery bypass grafting so the femoral, direct aortic, nor left subclavian access was suitable; the other had a severely atheromatous and calcified aorta. No procedural or late complications were seen. If transfemoral, subclavian, and direct aortic accesses for TAVI are contraindicated, the direct brachiocephalic access seems to be a safe and feasible alternative.