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Alain G. Cribier

15 Years in TAVI

Alain Cribier

Alain Cribier, M.D., FACC, FESC (born in 1945) is a French interventional cardiologist and is a Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiology at the University of Rouen's Charles Nicolle Hospital, France.

As part of celebrating the 15th year of TAVI, we are presenting a summary of Alain Cribier’s career highlights and quests.

This page is dedicated to the personal life and accomplishments.

Early Life and Studies

Professor Alain Cribier was born in Paris on January 25, 1945 to Marie-Thérèse and Camille Cribier. Alain grew up in Paris and attended the Charlemagne Lycée for his high school and baccalaureate. One of Alain’s early passions was music and he considered becoming a concert pianist.

Alain went on to study medicine at the University of Paris, where he completed his initial residency training. Alain was oriented early on in his career to cardiology and cardiac surgery and he was influenced by key people in the Hôpital Broussais, Hôpital Saint Antoine and Hôpital Tenon. From 1962-1968, At Hôpital Broussais, he spent a great deal of time dedicating his work as an ‘instrumentist’ for Professor Charles Dubost and his team in cardiac surgery. From 1969-1971 he worked in the Hôpital Tenon and had early contact with cardiac catheterization and ICUs under the tutelage of Professor Chiche during the early phase of left heart catheterization.

Receiving his certification in Cardiology, as well as a diploma in law and health economics, Alain decided to do his residency in Charles Nicolle University Hospital in Rouen, France—joining the Department of Cardiology headed by Professor Brice Letac. In 1976, Alain completed his Master’s thesis on “Left ventricular angiography for evaluation of left ventricular function”. He qualified for a year abroad and went to complete his Medical Thesis on the “Hemodynamic study of idiopathic cardiomyopathies; correlation with clinical data” under the direction of Dr. Jeremy Swan and Dr. William Ganz. Since then he has remained in Rouen.

The first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI)

Alain is renowned for many things, including many ‘firsts’, as he is passionate in his pursuit of meeting unmet and challenging clinical needs with conviction, energy and perseverance. He performed the first balloon valvuloplasty in 1985 and the first mitral commissurotomy in 1995. Alain also founded the Indo-French foundation of interventional cardiology. Even though BAV was effective in the short-term, it was determined that the results were not enduring enough in 80% of patients. This drove Alain to immediately pursue his dream of inventing a transcatheter aortic valve implantation procedure and the odyssey began. He performed the world’s first Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (TAVI) on April 16, 2002.

Alain Cribier: Treatment aortic stenosis

On April 16, 2002, at the Charles Nicolle University Hospital in Rouen, France, the Interventional Cardiologist, Professor Alain Cribier performed the first transcatheter aortic valve replacement procedure in the world. He used a Prosthetic valve thrombosis (PVT) percutaneous heart valve.

Since then, he has dedicated the last 15 years to perfecting, iterating and teaching this procedure to hundreds of physicians, enabling several thousands of procedures to be performed around the globe. Beginning in 2013, Alain Cribier and Hélène Eltchaninoff have run the MTC (Medical Training Center) in Rouen, a multidisciplinary center dedicated to teaching and learning medicine through simulation, video-conferences and training between surgeons, physicians and experts.

To list Alain’s academic achievements and awards would take a wall unto itself. He has published more than 1500 journal articles and received numerous degrees, awards and recognitions for his lifelong dedication and contributions to interventional cardiology.

These include the ESC Silver medal Andreas Grüntzig Award, The EuroPCR Ethica Award, TCT Achievement award, The Ray C. Fish Award, Legend of Medicine award, ESC Gold Medal Award, as well as several Life Time Achievement Awards from Israel, Germany, Mexico, India and many, many others. In terms of French National awards, Alain has been knighted with the Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor), Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques (Academic Palms) and most recently, in June 2017, he received a Grand Prize from the Institut de France Foundation: the Lefoulon-Delalande award for his ‘minimally invasive technique of interventional cardiology replacing aortic valves by simple catheter’.

Professor Cribier has recently retired from the Charles Nicolle Hospital. He is now the Medical Director of the Rouen Medical Training Center he created and Professor Emeritus at the Rouen University. He is very active and teaches this technique at the Rouen Medical Training Center, along with Professor Hélène Eltchaninoff, Head of the Department of Cardiology at Rouen University and the dedicated Heart Team there.