Transcaval transcatheter aortic valve replacement: a visual case review
Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) has emerged as a viable, minimally-invasive and widely adopted approach for the treatment of severe symptomatic aortic stenosis in patients who are intermediate-risk or greater for surgical aortic valve replacement. Numerous studies have demonstrated favorable outcomes with TAVR in this population, particularly with transfemoral access TAVR. Transfemoral TAVR has been shown to be safer and associated less morbidity, shorter lengths of hospital stay and more rapid recovery as compared with traditional thoracic alternative-access TAVR (transapical or transaortic). Despite iterative advancements in transcatheter heart valve technology and delivery system, there remain a portion of patients with iliofemoral arterial vessel sizes that are too small for safe transfemoral TAVR. Paradoxically, these patients are generally higher risk and are thus less favorable candidates for open surgery or traditional alternative-access TAVR. With these considerations in mind, transcaval TAVR was developed as a fully percutaneous, non-surgical approach for aortic valve replacement in patients who are poor candidates for traditional alternative-access TAVR. In this manuscript we describe the principles on which transcaval TAVR was developed, the outcomes from the largest trial completed evaluating this technique as well as describing the technique used to perform this procedure in a case-based format.