Aims: High rates of permanent pacemaker (PPM) implantation are reported after transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) using the Medtronic CoreValve® system. The Accutrak™ catheter is designed to allow a more predictable landing zone. Little is known about the real clinical impact of this catheter. The aims of this paper were to describe the potential impact of the Accutrak™ catheter on the accuracy of positioning a 26 or 29 mm CoreValve® across the aortic annulus and its impact on the need for a pacemaker.
Methods and results: A total of 134 patients were treated with the CoreValve® Accutrak™ system at two French centres (Lille and Toulouse). Mean age was 82.4±4.7 years; logistic EuroSCORE was 24.3±9.5%. Procedural success rate was 99.2%; mean depth of implantation was 4.9 mm. A final position between 0 and 6 mm was achieved in 85.8% of the patients. All-cause mortality at 30 days was 6%. The PPM implantation rate was 10.6%. Due to a limited number of events, we could not identify any predictor of need for a PPM: pre-existing right bundle branch block (RBBB) (OR 2.72 [0.63-11.87], p=ns), use of a 29 mm prosthesis (OR 2.73 [0.33-22.90], p=ns) and left ventricular septal hypertrophy (OR 2.63 [0.08-83.32], p=ns).
Conclusions: In this cohort of patients treated with the CoreValve® Accutrak™ system, the incidence of permanent pacemaker implantation was low, which may be a consequence of an average small implantation depth. The Accutrak™ catheter seems to be helpful in achieving higher and more predictable implants. Operators could standardise their technique to place the CoreValve® prostheses less than 6 mm below the aortic annulus.