Valve-sparing aortic root repair in acute type A dissection: how many sinuses have to be repaired for curative surgery?†

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The aim of the study was to evaluate operative and long-term results of valve-sparing aortic root surgery in acute type A dissection. The repair consisted of selective replacement of all dissected and pathological sinuses.


Forty-six patients (mean age 62 ± 14; range 29-88 years, 3 with Marfan syndrome), operated on between August 2001 and July 2011 due to acute type A aortic dissection, underwent valve-sparing root repair, resulting in a valve preservation rate of 56% in acute aortic dissection surgery involving the aortic root. Insufficiency grades of 0/1+, 2+, 3+ and 4+ were presented in 16, 17, 12 and 1 patients, respectively. Root repair with resection of the whole of the pathological aortic wall without the use of any glue was performed in all patients. Replacement of 1, 2 or 3 sinuses of Valsalva was performed in 29, 12 and 5 patients, respectively. Concomitant cusp repair was necessary in 7 patients. All perioperative data were collected prospectively and an intention-to-treat analysis was performed.


A total of 6 patients (median age 76, range 63-81 years) died, on average 10 months (range 0.9-44) after surgery resulting in an overall survival of 87% at the mean follow-up of 54 ± 37, range 0.9-132 months. The linearized death rate was 2.9%/year, and the actuarial survival rate at 8 years was 85.5 ± 5.6%. No death was related to the aortic valve or aortic root. There were no valve-related events and no patient required reoperation on the proximal aorta/aortic valve during the follow-up. At the last echocardiography (47.8 ± 35.6 months after surgery), 33 patients showed no and 13 patients slight (1+) aortic insufficiency.


Curative repair with replacement of all pathological sinuses of Valsalva leads to an excellent long-term outcome. Selected sinus repair is a simple and effective method of curative, valve-sparing root repair in acute aortic dissection because replacement of all sinuses is seldom necessary.

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