Impact of Stentless Aortic Valves on Left Ventricular Function and Hypertrophy: Current Best Available Evidence

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Past four decades have seen a gradual evolution in aortic valve replacement surgery. The ideal valve substitute should combine central flow, low transvalvular gradient, low thrombogenicity, durability, easy availability, resistance to infection, freedom from anticoagulation, and easy implantability. Although there are several types of valves available to replace the diseased aortic valve—autograft, allograft, xenograft, mechanical, and bioprosthetic valves—none is ideal. On one end of the spectrum is the pulmonary autograft, which comes closest to achieving these goals, but creates a double valve procedure for single valve disease, while on the other end are the mechanical valves and stented tissue valves, which allow easy “off the shelf” availability as well as easy implantability but are limited by the potential drawback of causing intrinsic obstruction to some extent because of the space occupied by the stent and sewing ring. Stentless xenograft aortic valves have been developed as a compromise between these ends of the valve spectrum. Stentless aortic valves have been reported to provide more physiologic hemodynamic behavior and cause more timely and thorough regression of ventricular hypertrophy. This review article attempts to evaluate current best available evidence from randomized controlled trials to assess the impact of stentless aortic valves on left ventricular function and hypertrophy.

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