Aortic root dynamism, geometry, and function after the remodeling operation: Clinical relevance

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Abstract

Objectives

Valve-conserving operations for aneurysms of the ascending aorta and root offer many advantages, and their use is steadily increasing. Optimizing the results of these operations depends on providing the best conditions for normal function and durability of the new root.

Methods

Multimodality imaging including 2-dimensional echocardiography, multislice computed tomography, and cardiovascular magnetic resonance combined with image processing and computational fluid dynamics were used to define geometry, dynamism and aortic root function, before and after the remodeling operation. This was compared with 4 age-matched controls.

Results

The size and shape of the ascending aorta, aortic root, and its component parts showed considerable changes postoperatively, with preservation of dynamism. The postoperative size of the aortic annulus was reduced without the use of external bands or foreign material. Importantly, the elliptical shape of the annulus was maintained and changed during the cardiac cycle (Δ ellipticity index was 15% and 28% in patients 1 and 2, respectively). The “cyclic” area of the annulus changed in size (Δarea: 11.3% in patient 1 and 13.1% in patient 2). Functional analysis showed preserved reservoir function of the aortic root, and computational fluid dynamics demonstrated normalized pattern of flow in the ascending aorta, sinuses of Valsalva, and distal aorta.

Conclusions

The remodeling operation results in near-normal geometry of the aortic root while maintaining dynamism of the aortic root and its components. This could have very important functional implications; the influence of these effects on both early- and long-term outcomes needs to be studied further.

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