What is it about?

Professor of Medicine and Director of Cardiology at the University of Rouen, Alain Cribier describes how he came to conduct the first transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) on 16th April 2002 . He describes how he worked to develop the breakthrough technology and refine the procedure.

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Why is it important?

French cardiologist Alain Cribier started to look for non-surgical alternatives for aortic stenosis in the late 1970s and began to use a balloon catheter to open the aortic valve. This led to the development of TAVI, the breakthrough technology which is estimated to have been performed on over 300,000 patients worldwide. TAVI has been hailed as having ‘a durable impact on the pattern of medical practice’.


Alain Cribier's account of how he overcame industry and academic scepticism to develop a breakthrough procedure is compelling. Had he listened to his critics and abandoned his notion of a 'stented valve' to treat aortic stenosis, there would likely have been no progress in developing the procedure that became known as TAVI. His story is an uplifting and salutary account of the importance of patience, perspective and perseverance in research.

Judith Ozkan

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Alain Cribier MD FACC FESC, European Heart Journal, March 2017, Oxford University Press (OUP), DOI: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehx073.
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