Transcatheter Heart Valve Therapies for the Aortic Valve

As one of the highest volume and most experienced transcatheter aortic heart valve replacement (TAVR) programs in the nation, Northwestern Medicine continues to expand its Transcatheter Heart Valve Program by offering a wide array of commercially available therapies and clinical trial options to treat the aortic valve, including TAVR for low-risk patients.


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Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR): A minimally invasive treatment option for patients with aortic valve stenosis. A stenotic aortic valve is narrowed, restricting blood flow from the heart. During TAVR, an interventional cardiologist and/or a cardiac surgeon inserts a catheter (tube) in the body through an artery. The TAVR valve is compressed and advanced by a catheter through an artery until it reaches the diseased aortic valve. A balloon on the catheter expands to secure the TAVR valve within the diseased aortic valve and then the catheter is removed. The secured TAVR valve remains in place pushing the diseased valve out of the way, allowing the TAVR valve to take over the job of regulating blood flow from the heart. 

TAVR valve shown in aortic valve position

Aortic valve in valve replacement

Northwestern Memorial Hospital 312.NM.HEART (312.664.3278)Central DuPage Hospital 630.232.0280

Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve Therapies: Now Available for Low-Risk Surgical Patients 

The Northwestern Medicine Transcatheter Heart Valve Program began offering transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) in 2008. For some patients with aortic stenosis, TAVR is a less-invasive treatment to open heart valve surgery. Since the early days of TAVR, Northwestern Medicine has been a leader in spearheading numerous TAVR clinical trials, helping to expand this therapy in a safe and effective way.  

In 2019, the results of two transcatheter aortic valve clinical trials1 –PARTNER 3 and EVOLUT– suggest that low-risk patients do as well or better with TAVR than with open heart valve surgery to replace a diseased aortic valve. TAVR is not only available for patients considered medium- or high-risk for open heart valve surgery, but is also an option for younger, healthier, low-risk patients. As one of the top enrolling sites in the United States for the PARTNER 3 clinical trial, we are proud to be leaders in innovative treatment options with easier recoveries and superior results for our patients.

Today, Northwestern Medicine offers a variety of commercially available (FDA approved) TAVR procedures and clinical trial options for the aortic valve, allowing us to tailor treatment precisely to the individual patient’s needs. TAVR therapies are offered at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, Northwestern Medicine McHenry Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Palos Hospital.  

1. Transcatheter Aortic-Valve Replacement with a Balloon-Expandable Valve in Low-Risk Patients. N Engl J Med, 2019.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Commercially Available (FDA Approved) Treatment Options

Transcatheter procedures allow the procedure to be performed while the patient’s heart is still beating, eliminating the need for a “heart bypass” machine and its associated risks. Due to the minimally invasive nature of transcatheter procedures, patients tend to recover faster and experience an improvement in symptoms soon after the procedure is completed. The Northwestern Medicine Transcatheter Heart Valve Program offers two aortic valve transcatheter treatment options: TAVR and transcatheter aortic valve in valve replacement.

Transcatheter Aortic Valve Clinical Trial Options 

Researchers at Northwestern Medicine conduct clinical trials that provide access to innovative therapies for the treatment of heart and vascular disease. Participating in a clinical trial is an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medications or study devices. The study devices and delivery systems used in the following clinical trials are investigational (experimental), which means they are not approved for commercial use by the U.S. FDA.

Northwestern Medicine is also among the most experienced programs in the country for transcatheter treatment options for the mitral valve and tricuspid valve.

Video used by permission of Edwards Lifesciences.  

PARTNER 3 Aortic Valve in Valve: enrolling patients who have an existing bioprosthetic aortic valve that is failing and needs to be replaced. Eligible participants will receive the SAPIEN 3 transcatheter aortic heart valve (study device) to replace the failing bioprosthetic aortic valve. 

Transcatheter Aortic Valve in Valve Replacement: A minimally invasive TAVR procedure for patients who have had previous open heart valve surgery to replace the aortic valve with a bioprosthetic/tissue valve that is now failing. Instead of replacing the failing aortic valve with another open heart valve surgery, the failing aortic valve is replaced by placing and securing a TAVR valve inside the failing aortic valve. 

During aortic valve in valve replacement, an interventional cardiologist and/or a cardiac surgeon inserts a catheter (tube) through an artery in the body. The TAVR valve is compressed and advanced by a catheter through an artery until it reaches the failing aortic valve. A balloon on the catheter expands and secures the TAVR valve within the failing aortic valve.  The catheter is then removed and the TAVR valve remains in place pushing the failing aortic valve out of the way, allowing the TAVR valve to take over the job of regulating blood flow from the heart. 

USNWR Best Hospitals - Heart & Vascular, 2023-24

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is ranked as a top ten program in the nation (No. 7) for cardiology, heart & vascular surgery by U.S. News & World Report, 2023-2024. Our impressive U.S. News & World Report achievements are a reflection of the expert care provided and why patients choose to get their heart and vascular seconds opinions from Northwestern Medicine.

  • Highest ranked cardiology, heart & vascular surgery program in Illinois for 16 consecutive years
  • Highest available cardiology, heart & vascular surgery patient survival score since the metric was introduced
  • Rated “High Performing” (the highest rating possible) for abdominal aortic aneurysm repair, aortic valve surgery, heart attack, heart failure and transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR)
McHenry Hospital 815.759.8070

Northwestern Medicine Transcatheter Aortic Heart Valve Featured Publications

  1. Russo MJ, Thourani VH, Cohen DJ, Malaisrie SC, Szeto WY, George I, Kodali SK, Makkar R, Lu M, Williams M, Nguyen T, Aldea G, Genereux P, Fang HK, Alu MC, Rogers E, Okoh A, Herrmann HC, Kapadia S, Webb JG, Smith CR, Leon MB, Mack MJMinimally Invasive Versus Full Sternotomy for Isolated Aortic Valve Replacement in Low-Risk Patients. The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. 2022;114(6): 2124-2130. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2021.11.048.
  2. Kang DY, Ahn JM, Kim JB, Yeung A, Nishi T, Fearon W, Cantey EP, Flaherty JD, Davidson CJ, Malaisrie SC, Park SY, Yun SC, Ko E, Park H, Lee SA, Kim DH, Kim HJ, Kim JB, Choo SJ, Park DW, Park SJ. Inter-racial differences in patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve implantation. Heart. 2022;heartjnl-2021-320364. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2021-320364.

  3. Park H, Ahn JM, Kang DY, Kim JB, Yeung AC, Nishi T, Fearon WF, Cantey EP, Flaherty JD, Davidson CJ, Malaisrie SC, Kim S, Yun SC, Ko E, Lee SA, Kim DH, Kim HJ, Kim JB, Choo SJ, Park DW, Park SJ. Racial Differences in the Incidence and Impact of Prosthesis-Patient Mismatch After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. JACC Cardiovasc Interv. 2021;14(24):2670-2681. doi: 10.1016/j.jcin.2021.08.038.

  4. Davidson LJ, Davidson CJ. Transcatheter Treatment of Valvular Heart Disease: A Review. JAMA. 2021;325(24):2480–2494. doi: 10.1001/jama.2021.213.

  5. Kislitsina ON, Szlapka M, McCarthy PM, Davidson CJ, Flaherty JD, Sweis RN, Kruse J, Andrei AC, Cox JL, Malaisrie SC. Unique technical challenges in patients undergoing TAVR for failed aortic homografts. J Card Surg. 2021;36(1):89-96. doi: 10.1111/jocs.15176.

  6. Cubeddu RJ, Asher CR, Lowry AM, Blackstone EH, Kapadia SR, Alu MC, Thourani VH, Mack MJ, Kodali SK, Herrmann HC, Forcillo J, Babaliaros VC, Devireddy CM, Malaisrie SC, Davidson CJ, Jaber WA, Leon MB, Svensson LG. PARTNER Trial Investigators. Impact of Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement on Severity of Chronic Kidney Disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2020;76(12):1410-1421. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2020.07.048.

  7. Cantey EP, Chang KY, Blair JEA, Brummel K, Sweis RN, Pham DT, Aid A-C, Churyla A, Ricciardi MJ, Malaisrie SC, Davidson CJ, Flaherty JD. Impact of Loop Diuretic Use on Outcomes Following Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation. American Journal of Cardiology. 2020;131:67-73.

  8. Howard TM, Cantey EP, Abdutaleb A, Ricciardi MJ, Sweis RN, Pham DT, Churyla A, Malaisrie SC, Davidson CJ, Flaherty JD. Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement Outcomes Based on the Presence of Chronic Total Occlusion. Cardiovascular Revasc Medicine. 2020;21:1305-10.

  9. Kaplan RM, Yadlapati A, Cantey EP, Passman RS, Gajjar M, Knight BP, Sweis R, Ricciardi MJ, Pham DT, Churyla A, Malaisrie SC, Davidson CJ, Flaherty JD. Conduction Recovery Following Pacemaker Implantation After Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. Pacing & Clinical Electrophysiology. 2019;42:146-52.

  10. Blair JEA, Atri P, Friedman JL, Thomas JD, Brummel K, Sweis RN, Mikati I, Malaisrie SC, Davidson CJ, Flaherty JD. Diastolic Function and Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography. 2017;30:541-51.

*Bolding of author’s name indicates Northwestern Medicine and/or Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty.

Whether you are experiencing symptoms that you do not understand, have already been diagnosed and require a transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or are looking for a second opinion, Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute offers comprehensive expertise to you and your loved ones at multiple convenient locations.

TTY for all locations: 711

Palos Hospital 708.923.4200

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
at Northwestern Memorial Hospital

675 North St Clair Street 

Galter Pavilion, Suite 19-100
Chicago, Illinois 60611
312.NM.HEART (312.664.3278)

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
at Central DuPage Hospital

625 North Winfield Road
Winfield, Illinois 60190

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
at McHenry Hospital

4201 Medical Center Drive
McHenry, Illinois 60050

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute
at Palos Hospital 

612251 South 80th Avenue, Suite 1520
Palos Heights, Illinois 60463

Meet the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Team

Northwestern Medicine Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is a nationally recognized destination for those who require highly specialized heart and vascular care.