Feasibility of intraoperative water testing in aortic valve repair: Direct visualization from left ventricle with a videoscope

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Abstract

Objective:

We describe a simple method to assess the aortic valve using a videoscope inserted in the left ventricle (LV-VS) during valve-sparing root replacement. The aim of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of this technique by comparing it with the findings of postoperative transesophageal echocardiography (TEE).

Methods:

Thirty-six patients (29 male, mean age 45.4 ± 20.1 years) undergoing aortic root reimplantation were assessed intraoperatively with LV-VS. The LV-VS was inserted from the right upper pulmonary vein into the left ventricle and set toward the aortic valve. After completion of graft implantation, inspection was performed with LV-VS by pressurizing the neo-sinus before attachment of coronary arteries. Valve competency evaluated by LV-VS was compared with postoperative TEE findings, according to the group of cusp morphologies. Group 1 included 26 patients with tricuspid aortic valve, and group 2 included 9 patients with bicuspid aortic valve and 1 quadricuspid aortic valve.

Results:

The grade of aortic regurgitation (AR) improved from 2.9 ± 1.6 preoperatively to 0.33 ± 0.6 postoperatively (P < .001 vs preoperatively). In 4 patients, LV-VS was used only before repair. In group 1, intraoperative LV-VS showed a competent valve in 20 and an incompetent valve in 3 patients, and postoperative TEE showed non/trivial AR in 15, mild AR in 5, and mild-to-moderate AR in 3 patients. In group 2, 9 patients achieved a competent valve on intraoperative LV-VS and non/trivial AR on postoperative TEE.

Conclusions:

Intraoperative direct inspection with LV-VS is a feasible method for confirming the completion of cusp repair.

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