Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Improved outcomes after aortic valve surgery for chronic aortic regurgitation with severe left ventricular dysfunction.

OBJECTIVES: Among patients undergoing aortic valve surgery for chronic aortic regurgitation (AR), we sought to: 1) compare survival among those with and without severe left ventricular dysfunction (LVD); 2) identify risk factors for death, including LVD and date of operation; and 3) estimate contemporary risk for cardiomyopathic patients.

BACKGROUND: Patients with chronic AR and severe LVD have been considered high risk for aortic valve surgery, with limited prognosis. Transplantation is considered for some.

METHODS: From 1972 to 1999, 724 patients underwent surgery for chronic AR; 88 (12%) had severe LVD. They were propensity matched to patients with nonsevere LVD to compare hospital mortality, interaction of operative date with severity of LVD, and late survival. Propensity score-adjusted multivariable analysis was performed for all 724 patients to identify risk factors for death.

RESULTS: Survival was lower (p = 0.04) among patients with severe LVD than among matched patients with nonsevere LVD (30-day, 1-, 5-, and 25-year survival estimates were 91% vs. 96%, 81% vs. 92%, 68% vs. 81%, and 5% vs. 12%, respectively). However, survival of patients with severe LVD improved dramatically across the study time frame (p = 0.0004): hospital mortality decreased from 50% in 1975 to 0% after 1985, and time-related survival in patients with severe LVD operated on since 1985 became equivalent to that of matched patients with nonsevere LVD (p = 0.96).

CONCLUSIONS: Neutralizing risk of severe LVD has improved early and late survival such that aortic valve surgery for chronic AR and cardiomyopathy is no longer a high-risk procedure for which transplantation is the best option.

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