JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Single-center outcome analysis of 1,161 patients with St. Jude medical and ATS open pivot mechanical heart valves.

BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: The clinical performance of mechanical heart valves and valve-related complications are important safety endpoints in patients after heart valve replacement. In this retrospective analysis, the mid- to long-term clinical outcomes of two similar bileaflet heart valves, routinely implanted at the authors' institution over an 11-year period, were compared.

METHODS: Between January 1993 and December 2003, a total of 1,161 patients (758 males, 403 females) received either a St. Jude Medical (SJM) or ATS mechanical heart valve. Follow up was obtained via an in-house Quality Management Database, ascertained by telephone questionnaire of the patients and/or family physicians. Follow up was 98.9% complete; the median follow up was 4.6 years; total follow up was 5,624 patient-years (pt-yr).

RESULTS: A total of 604 SJM and 601 ATS prostheses was implanted as isolated (n = 669) or combined (n = 492) procedures. The overall 30-day mortality for SJM and ATS was 4.1% and 3.4%, respectively (p = 0.45). Cumulative survival and freedom from valve-related mortality at 10 years for SJM and ATS valves were 66 +/- 3% versus 68 +/- 5% (p = 0.84) and 96 +/- 1% versus 97 +/- 1% (p = 0.36), respectively. No structural valve failure was encountered for both valve types. Freedom from overall valve-related complications at 10 years was 79 +/- 4% for SJM and 66 +/- 6% for ATS (p = 0.08). The linearized rates for valve-related adverse events for SJM and ATS valves, respectively, were: thromboembolism 0.9 and 1.1%/pt-yr; major bleeding requiring transfusion 0.3 and 0.5%/pt-yr; prosthetic endocarditis 0.03 and 0.1%/pt-yr; paravalvular leak 0.1 and 0.6%/pt-yr.

CONCLUSION: On the basis of an 11-year experience, both bileaflet valves showed very good clinical results, with low incidences of adverse events during the mid-term outcome. Gender and/or concomitant coronary artery disease were not predictors for reduced life expectancy.

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