The aim of this study is to investigate the longitudinal valve function after valve-sparing root replacement in patients with bicuspid aortic valves (BAVs), in terms of both transvalvular pressure gradient (TVPG) and freedom from aortic regurgitation.METHODS
In this non-randomized retrospective study, two different approaches were chosen for correcting the circumferential orientation of commissures during aortic root reimplantation for Sievers type I BAV: (i) 180° orientation, in which both cusps occupy equal surface areas and (ii) preserving native commissural orientation. From 2005 to 2015, 41 consecutive patients with Sievers type I BAV undergoing valve-sparing root replacement were divided into two groups according to the techniques: native orientation group and 180° group.RESULTS
The native orientation group included 22 patients (age, 45.1 ± 13.6 years) and the 180° group included 19 patients (age, 36.6 ± 13.7 years; P = 0.053). There was no significant difference in preoperative variables between the two groups. Postoperative and follow-up echocardiography revealed the following: the average TVPG at the time of discharge in the native orientation and the 180° groups was 17.3 ± 6.6 and 21.7 ± 11.1 mmHg (P = 0.16), respectively, at peak and 10.0 ± 3.7 and 11.7 ± 6.0 mmHg (P = 0.33), respectively, at mean; at follow-up, the corresponding values were 19.1 ± 6.6 and 22.9 ± 10.6 mmHg (P = 0.24) at peak and 9.9 ± 3.8 and 13.2 ± 7.2 mmHg (P = 0.12) at mean. Thus, there was a trend towards higher TVPG in the 180° group. The difference between the preoperative and postoperative commissural angles was correlated with higher postoperative peak and mean TVPG (r = 0.53, P = 0.041, 95% confidence interval, 0.029–0.82 at peak and r = 0.58, P = 0.024, 95% confidence interval, 0.092–0.84 at mean).CONCLUSIONS
In terms of freedom from aortic regurgitation and valve function, similar outcomes were achieved in both despite different repair techniques used for fixation of commissures during valve-sparing aortic root replacement in BAV. However, attention should be paid to patients with 180° commissural reposition because of a trend towards higher TVPG.