Long-Term Durability of Bicuspid Aortic Valve Repair

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Abstract

Background.

Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is the most common congenital cardiac malformation, occurring in 1% to 2% of the population. Eventually, 20% develop clinically important valvar regurgitation requiring surgical intervention. Aortic valve repair avoids anticoagulation and prosthetic valve-related complications. This study evaluated long-term durability of BAV repair.

Methods.

From 1985 to 2011, 728 patients, mean age 42 ± 12 years, underwent BAV repair at Cleveland Clinic. Mean follow-up was 9.0 ± 6.2 years (median, 8.3). Factors associated with repair durability (expressed as aortic valve reoperations and echocardiographically estimated gradients and regurgitation) and survival were identified.

Results.

Hospital mortality was 0.41% (n = 3), and stroke occurred in 0.27% (n = 2). Freedom from aortic valve reoperation at 10 years was 78%. Risk of reoperation was highest immediately after operation and fell rapidly to approximately 2.6%/year up to 15 years. Primary reasons for reoperation were cusp prolapse (38%), aortic stenosis or regurgitation (17%), and aortic regurgitation from root aneurysm (15%). Aortic valve gradients showed an early initial peak, rapidly declined, then rose steadily, accompanied by an increase in left ventricular mass. Survival was 94% at 10 years. A risk factor for early death was greater preoperative mitral valve regurgitation, and for late death, older age at operation, more severe symptoms, and poorer left ventricular function.

Conclusions.

BAV repair is safe and durable with low mortality, low prevalence of reoperation, and good long-term survival. Cusp prolapse from technical errors and natural progression of disease are the most common causes for reoperation, but progressive natural increase in valve gradient accounts for a substantial proportion as well.

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