Impact of preoperative aortic cusp prolapse on long-term outcome after surgical closure of subarterial ventricular septal defect

Yiu-Fai Cheung, Clement S W Chiu, Tak-Cheung Yung, Adolphus K T Chau
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2002, 73 (2): 622-7

BACKGROUND: Previous reports on the long-term outcome of surgical closure of subarterial ventricular septal defect were based on a relatively small number of patients.

METHODS: We reviewed the long-term outcome of 135 patients who underwent closure of their defect and, in light of the findings, assessed the impact of preoperative aortic cusp prolapse and surgical interventions on occurrence of aortic regurgitation (AR) in the long-term. The patients were categorized into three groups for comparison: group I consisted of 79 patients with no aortic cusp prolapse and underwent simple closure of ventricular septal defect, group II comprised 39 patients with mild to moderate cusp prolapse who similarly had only closure of the defect performed, whereas group III comprised 17 patients who had additional aortic valvoplasty for greater than moderate to severe cusp prolapse.

RESULTS: Group I patients had significantly higher pulmonary arterial pressure (p < 0.001) and ratio of pulmonary blood flow to systemic blood flow (p < 0.001). None of these patients had AR before their operation, and none experienced AR afterward at a median follow-up of 6.1 years. Of the 39 group II patients, 30 (77%) had trivial or mild AR preoperatively. The AR improved in 15 patients, remained trivial or mild in 14 and absent in 7, but progressed to trivial or mild in 3 at a median follow-up of 3.1 years. None required further interventions. In contrast, 14 (82%) of the 17 group III patients had moderate to severe AR before operation. The regurgitation improved in 10, but remained moderate or severe in 4 and worsened further in 3 at a median follow-up of 4.6 years. The freedom from failure of aortic valvoplasty was (mean +/- standard error of the mean) 71%+/-11%, 64%+/-12%, and 43%+/-19% at 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively. An older age at latest follow-up was the only identifiable significant risk factor (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Our data do not support the need of aortic valvoplasty for mild to moderate aortic cusp prolapse. Close follow-up is warranted in those with greater than moderate to severe cusp prolapse despite valvoplasty as there is continued failure on follow-up. Nothing, however, is better than early closure of defects before development of aortic valve complications.

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