Risk factors for development of endocarditis and reintervention in patients undergoing right ventricle to pulmonary artery valved conduit placement

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To determine the incidence and risk factors for endocarditis and reintervention in patients undergoing placement of right ventricle-to-pulmonary artery valve conduits.


All right ventricle–to–pulmonary artery valved conduits placed between 1995 and 2014 were included. Freedom from endocarditis, reintervention, and replacement were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and parametric survival regression models.


A total of 586 patients underwent placement of a total of 792 valved conduits, including 289 (36%) pulmonary homografts, 121 (15%) aortic homografts, 245 (31%) bovine jugular grafts, and 137 (17%) porcine heterografts. There were 474 (60%) primary placements and 318 (40%) replacements. The median duration of conduit follow-up was 7 years; 23 conduits developed endocarditis at a median of 5 years after surgery. The use of bovine jugular grafts was the sole significant risk factor associated with endocarditis (hazard ratio, 9.05; 95% confidence interval, 2.6–31.8 compared with homografts). The hazard was greater for bovine jugular grafts compared with the other conduit types and increased with time; however, bovine jugular grafts were associated with a lower risk for reintervention (P < .0001) and replacement (P = .0002). Factors associated with greater risk of both reintervention and replacement were younger age and smaller conduit size. In addition, a diagnosis of truncus arteriosus was associated with a greater risk for replacement (P = .03).


Bovine jugular grafts are associated with a significantly greater risk of late endocarditis but with lower reintervention rates compared with other valved conduits. The risk of endocarditis and durability must be balanced during conduit selection. Antibiotic prophylaxis and a high index of suspicion for endocarditis are warranted in patients with bovine jugular grafts.

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