Whether the aortopathy associated with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) disease occurs secondary to genetic or hemodynamic factors remains controversial. In this article we describe the natural history of the aortic root in patients with bicuspid versus tricuspid aortic valves (TAVs) after replacement of the aortic valve and ascending aorta.Methods:
From 1990 to 2010, 406 patients (269 BAV, 137 TAV) underwent aortic valve and ascending aorta replacement at a single institution. Patients with aortic dissection, endocarditis, previous aortic surgery, or Marfan syndrome were excluded. All available follow-up imaging was reviewed.Results:
Mean imaging follow-up was 5.5 (±5.3) years. Of all patients, 66.5% had at least 1 aortic root measurement after the index operation. Baseline aortic diameter was comparable between groups. In patients with BAV, aortic root diameter increased at a clinically negligible rate over time (0.654 mm per year; 95% confidence interval, 0.291-1.016; P < .001), similar to patients with TAV (P = .92). Mean clinical follow-up was 8.1 (±5.4) years. During follow-up, 18 patients underwent reoperation, 89% for a degenerated bioprosthetic aortic valve. Only 1 patient underwent reoperation for a primary indication of aortic aneurysmal disease, 22 years after the index operation. There were no differences in cumulative incidence rates of aortic reoperation (P = .14) between patients with BAV and TAV.Conclusions:
Mid-term imaging after aortic valve and ascending aorta replacement indicates that if the aortic root is not dilated at the time of surgery, the risk of enlargement over time is minimal, negating the need for prophylactic root replacement in patients with BAV or TAV.