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Father of Danish TAVI innovator receives implant

Dr Henning Rud Andersen, Consultant Cardiologist (Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark) recently marked a significant personal milestone when his father was successfully treated for aortic stenosis using the procedure he pioneered.

86-year old Mr Jørgen Rud Andersen successfully received a transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) via the transfemoral approach. The procedure was managed by a multidisciplinary TAVI team at Aarhus University Hospital, and was led by Dr Leif Thuesen, who implanted a SAPIEN XT valve (Edwards Lifesciences).

“Four months since receiving the transcatheter aortic valve, the patient has made a strong recovery,” said Dr Thuesen, Dr Andersen’s colleague and research collaborator of over 25 years. “He is once again active, in good spirits, and enjoying spending time with his family. It is remarkable that without the work of his son and his colleagues, this may not have been possible.”

Original porcine valve

Original porcine valve

Dr Henning R Andersen established himself as a pioneer in the early development of transcatheter heart valves when he conceived of their implantation via a closed chest procedure. The breakthrough idea came following a 1989 cardiology congress in Scottsdale, Arizona. Upon returning to Denmark he established a team that, within ten weeks, performed the first in-animal implantation of a balloon-expandable valve.1

The design incorporated a homemade metal stent and a porcine valve from the local butcher. “When I first had the idea, TAVI was only a distant pipe dream,” said Dr Andersen. “It would have been unimaginable to me then that so many people would benefit from the innovative procedure. It is particularly special for me that I have been able to help my father in such a way.”

“My procedure went very smoothly,” Mr Andersen said. “I am grateful to my son for his work, and also the exceptional team at Aarhus University Hospital. I am considerably more active now, and my hope is that others can also benefit from this treatment”.


1 Andersen HR, Knudsen LL, Hasenkam JM.  Transluminal implantation of artificial heart valves. Description of a new expandable aortic valve and initial results with implantation by catheter technique in closed chest pigs. Eur Heart J 1992;13:704–8.

Jørgen Rud Andersen and Dr Henning Rud Andersen

Jørgen Rud Andersen and Dr Henning Rud Andersen

Published on: November 3, 2011

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