Background: As transaxillary (TAx) access has become the most common alternative to transfemoral (TF) transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), there is increasing use of a percutaneous approach.
Aims: This study sought to determine whether there are differences in outcomes using a percutaneous access versus cutdown for TAx TAVR.
Methods: Using data from the STS/ACC TVT Registry, consecutive patients undergoing TAx TAVR with balloon-expandable valves between July 2015 and December 2020 were included. Propensity score-based matching was performed to evaluate the association between method of TAx access and outcomes.
Results: Of 4,219 patients, 1,140 (27.0%) underwent percutaneous access and 3,079 (73.0%) had surgical cutdown for TAx TAVR, with the proportion of percutaneous cases increasing over time. After propensity matching, there were no significant baseline differences between patients undergoing TAx access by either approach. At 30 days, there were similar rates of all-cause mortality (4.8% in percutaneous patients vs 4.1% in surgical patients; p=0.40) and stroke (7.7% vs 6.5%; p=0.25). Those undergoing percutaneous TAx access were more likely to receive conscious sedation and have less need for the intensive care unit (ICU). Percutaneous access was associated with a higher rate of major vascular complication (3.0% vs 1.5% in surgical patients; p=0.02) but not life-threatening bleeding (0.3% vs 0.1%; p=0.31).
Conclusions: This study supports the safety and efficacy of percutaneous TAx TAVR compared to traditional surgical cutdown. Percutaneous access was associated with shorter ICU stay and a higher rate of major vascular complication without an increase in life-threatening bleeding.