International Perfusion Association


Right Anterior versus Right Transaxillary Access for Minimally Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement: A Propensity Matched Competitive Analysis

Background: Right anterior thoracotomy (RAT-AVR) has been the sole established sternum-sparing technique for minimally invasive aortic valve replacement (MICS-AVR) thus far. Nevertheless, transaxillary access, known as Minimally Invasive Cardiac LATeral Surgery (MICLATS-AVR), represents the latest and innovative advancement in sternum-sparing MICS-AVR access routes. In this study, procedural and clinical outcomes of a substantial transaxillary MICS-AVR cohort are compared to those of a RAT-AVR control group.

Patients and Methods: This retrospective study included 918 consecutive patients who underwent MICS-AVR at our facility between 2014 and 2022. This cohort was divided into two surgical access-related groups: RAT-AVR (n = 492) and MICLATS-AVR (n = 426). Procedural data, operative morbidity, and mortality were compared between groups. Further analysis was performed using propensity score matching.

Results: After matching, 359 pairs of patients were included and analyzed. There were no notable differences observed between the two groups regarding major adverse cardio-cerebral events. Despite longer cardiopulmonary bypass time in the MICLATS-AVR group (63.1 ± 20.4 min vs. 66.4 ± 18.2 min; p ≤ 0.001) the skin-to-skin time (129.4 ± 35.9 min. vs. 126.5 ± 29.8 min.; p = 0.790) and the aortic cross-clamp time was comparable between both groups (41.9 ± 13.3 min. vs. 43.5 ± 14.4 min.; p = 0.182). The overall hospital stay was significantly shorter in the MICLATS-AVR cohort (9.7 ± 5.2 days vs. 9.2 ± 4.5 days; p = 0.01). Both groups were comparable in terms of postoperative morbidities. However, significantly lower rates of postoperative impaired wound healing were noted in the MICLATS-AVR group (11.7% vs. 3.9%, p < 0.001).

Conclusions: In comparing MICLATS-AVR and RAT-AVR, our study found MICLATS-AVR to be at least as safe and time-efficient as RAT-AVR, with no significant differences in MACCE. MICLATS-AVR showed a shorter hospital stay and lower postoperative wound issues, indicating its feasibility and safety as an alternative. Notably, MICLATS-AVR is sternum- and bone-sparing, preserving the right mammary artery, and facilitates combined procedures like multiple valve surgeries.

Keywords: MICLATS; aortic valve replacement; minimally invasive surgery; transaxillary.

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