Contemporary experience with surgical treatment of aortic valve disease in children

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Surgical treatment of aortic valve (AoV) disease in childhood involves complex decisions particularly in very small patients. There is no consensus regarding the optimum surgical option. The objective of this review was to analyze a contemporary experience of AoV surgery in a large children's hospital.


A retrospective review of children (aged ≤18 years) undergoing AoV repair or replacement from June 1995 to December 2011 was carried out.


A total of 285 AoV operations (97 repairs, 188 replacements) were performed on 241 patients. Hospital survival for repair was 98% and for replacements was 97%. At follow-up of repairs, there were 16 (17%) reoperations and 3 (3%) late deaths. Follow-up of AoV replacements demonstrated 31 (16%) reoperations (homograft 27, autograft 3, mechanical 1) and 8 (4%) late deaths (homograft 5, autograft 2, mechanical 1). Freedom from reintervention or death (FRD) was found to be lower in repairs for infants (P = .048) and truncal valves (P < .05). For AoV replacements, infants and patients who had concomitant CHD or homografts (P < .0001) had lower FRD. Cox regression analysis for AoV replacements identified infants and homograft root replacements at a higher risk for death/reoperation.


AoV repairs and replacements were generally found to be associated with low death and reoperation rates at long-term follow-up. Infants had a lower freedom from reintervention or death after either an AoV repair or replacement, although truncal valve repairs and AoV replacement in patients with concomitant CHD were associated with lower valve survival. Among the valve options, homograft root replacement had a higher risk of death/reoperation and lowest freedom from reintervention or death.

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