Stefan Toggweiler, MD
Evidence indicates that postprocedural moderate or severe paravalvular regurgitation (PAR) reduces life expectancy in such a way that it may even nullify the beneficial effect of TAVI.
Due to improved implantation techniques, knowledge, and materials, the rates of moderate or severe PAR have dropped to less than 5%-10% in most recently published trials and registries, but mild PAR still occurs quite frequently. Many interventional cardiologists now aim for the “perfect” result, and even mild PAR seems to justify postdilatation of a transcatheter valve. However, we should keep in mind that postdilatation carries the risks of annular injury, valve displacement, and embolization of calcific debris.
In our study published in the month’s JIC, we investigated the natural course of PAR after implantation of the self-expandable CoreValve. Patients underwent transesophageal echocardiography after 30 days and 1 year. In most patients, PAR improved. Very small jets disappeared, and larger…
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More and more in our daily lives, we see a push to make things more cost-effective. There are legitimate ways to cut costs, however, I really have trouble seeing any huge gains earned by the hospital when you eliminate anesthesiologists and/or surgeons. People need to look at risk assessment in these cases. What if an already sick patient decompensates during the procedure? Is the cost-effective strategy of eliminating caregivers really the best way to save money? It seems to me that liability would be a greater risk without having a surgeon for a crash sternotomy or an anesthesiologist to manage the airway and physiology.
There is global debate how to make TAVR procedures less expensive. Some sites changed from general anesthesia to sedation, some go even beyond that and keep patients fully awake during the procedure. Some sites eliminated anesthesiologists, some even eliminated the surgeons, as well. All this in the name of cost reduction, in exchange of safety, comfort and crucial information if not selected properly. TEE requires general anesthesia, but it can provide invaluable information and we anesthesiologists, can provide tailored and safe anesthesia. In certain situations, like severe lung disease, in experienced hands, sedation could be more appropriate than general anesthesia, even if it means eliminating TEE.
We looked at the cost of TAVR not just as a procedural cost, but as a post-procedural cost. Renal failure following TAVR can occur with underlying renal insufficiency and has significant financial and quality of life consequences. One of the mechanisms for this serious…
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Today, we had a guest speaker Christian Spies from Queen’s Hospital in Hawaii who spoke on his experience with his TAVR team and conscious sedation vs. general anesthesia for these patients. More specifically, we are speaking of the transfemoral route.
- Patient selection is key (consider for COPD; bad for OSA)
- Short surgical time for monitored anesthesia care (MAC)
- Decrease invasive monitoring (no PA catheter,+/-CVP)
- No difference in hospital LOS or 1 year mortality rate
- Move from TEE to TTE if MAC
- Be prepared to convert MAC to GA (can be difficult in already tenuous patient in a crowded space under the drapes)
- MAC agents: dexmetetomidine, propofol, ofirimev
- Decrease pressor use
- Develop an algorithm for MAC vs. GA and patient selection
For my own lit search:
- Anaesthesia Nov 2011: Sedation vs general anaesthesia for the ‘high-risk’ patient – what can TAVI teach us?
- JACC May 2012: The Minimalist Approach for Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement in High-Risk Patients
- Cardiac Interventions Today May 2012: Rouen Experience Supports Safety of TAVR Using Local Anesthesia
- MedPage Today July 2012: TAVI: No Need for Patients to ‘Go Under’
- Amer J Card Jan 2013: Effect of Local Anesthetic Management With Conscious Sedation in Patients Undergoing Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation
- SCA 2013: PBL — Anesthesia for TAVR
- Indian Heart J March 2014: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation under conscious sedation – the first Indian experience
- TCTMD Mar 2015:As TAVR Evolves, Local Anesthesia Could Be an Option for Lower-Risk Patients
***Update May 1, 2018***
We at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla do most of our transfemoral TAVRs via conscious sedation assuming appropriate patient selection. These patients still tend to be the inoperable patients not cleared for open heart AVR (aortic valve replacement). My techniques and choices for setup have changed over time as I’ve had a chance to fine-tune my plan based on prior experiences with TAVR. Patients typically come to the hybrid room with a 20g PIV placed by the pre-op RN.
- 4 channel Alaris pump:
- dexmedetomidine @ 0.7 mcg/kg/hr until incision –> 0.4 mcg/kg/hr until valve deployment –> off
- norepinephrine @ 2 mcg/min (titrating on/off, up/down as vitals suggest)
- Isolyte (IV carrier fluid) @ 200ml/hr until valve deployment –> 50ml/hr
- Cordis neck line
- Initially, I would have the interventional cardiologist setup a femoral venous line since they’re getting access to the groin. However, the cardiologist would use that femoral line for emergent ECMO cannulation and I would lose my venous access and have to depend on a measly 20g PIV. Nowadays, I try for a short 14g or 16g PIV. If I can’t get one, the patient gets an awake right IJ cordis for large venous access.
- Hot line fluid warmer with blood-Y tubing: this is for hookup to a large PIV or cordis line
- Right radial arterial line
- I started only placing right radial arterial lines because there was a case of a dissection and I immediately lost my left radial arterial line and couldn’t do pressure monitoring. I insist on only using the RIGHT radial for my arterial monitoring. Do not let the cardiologist only give you arterial monitoring based on their femoral arterial access. It will only give you intermittent monitoring and there are critical points leading up to the deployment where you need CONTINUOUS arterial monitoring. Therefore, I’ve found the right RADIAL arterial line best for continuous monitoring.
- Facemask for continuous oxygen at 10L/mim with ETCO2 monitoring
- For trans-subclavian/axillary approach vs. transfemoral approach TAVR, I’ll put in a supraclavicular block right after Cordis/large-bore PIV venous access for patient comfort while still utilizing conscious sedation/MAC.
- When the patient gets to the room, transfer patient to OR table. Start IV fluids @ 200ml/hr. Cases that go well are about 2 hours from start to end.
- Facemask O2 at 10L/min.
- Start sedation: precedex/dexmedetomidine @ 0.7 mcg/kg/hr. Some patients may receive 1-2mg midazolam x 1 and 25-50mcg fentanyl for radial art line placement.
- Place right radial art line with lidocaine for skin numbing. Place PIV with lidocaine. If unable to get access for PIV, prep neck –> sterile gown/glove/drapes for U/S guided Cordis placement with lidocaine.
- OR staff preps patient. Antibiotics prior to incision.
- At incision –> precedex to 0.4 mcg/kg/hr. 25-50mcg fentanyl PRN discomfort. 10-20mg propofol push for discomfort if needed while large sheath placed for valve deployment.
- Crossing valve –> BP changes. Manage with volume or levophed.
- Don’t treat over-drive pacing too aggressively when the valve is deployed. Typically, once the new valve is in, a little volume will help normalize the BP.
- Once valve is deployed, turn precedex off. No other sedation or BP meds needed. Change IVF rate to 50ml/hr.
- Patient heads to PACU awake, interactive, and comfortable.
What techniques do you like to do? Any suggestions on a different approach?