INTRODUCTION: Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) may be performed using the transfemoral (TF) or transapical (TA) approach in most patients with aortic stenosis. The impact of access choice on peri-procedural and midterm results remains to be defined. METHODS: Medline and Cochrane Library were searched for articles describing differences in baseline, peri-procedural, and midterm outcomes among patients undergoing TF or TA TAVI. The primary end-point was all-cause mortality after at least 1-year follow-up, while secondary end-points were 30 days mortality and in-hospital complications (bleeding and cerebrovascular events). The independent impact of access choice was evaluated with pooled analysis using a random-effect model. RESULTS: Thirteen studies with 10,468 patients were included. TF was the most exploited strategy (69.5% vs. 30.5%). After adjusting for confounding variables, 30-day and midterm follow-up mortality (median 365 days, range 222-400) were lower in TF patients with a pooled adjusted odds ratio of 0.81 (0.68-0.97 I(2) 99%) and 0.85 (0.80-0.90 I(2) 96%), respectively. Regarding periprocedural outcomes, TF reduced risk of bleedings and strokes (OR of 0.74 [0.66-0.82 I(2) 95%] and 0.91 [0.83-0.99] I(2) 86%, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The TF approach reduces mortality in TAVI patients, due to lower rates of periprocedural bleedings and strokes.
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