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Valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis with low transvalvular gradient and left ventricular ejection fraction exceeding 0.50

Giuseppe Tarantini, Elisa Covolo, Renato Razzolini, Claudio Bilato, Anna Chiara Frigo, Massimo Napodano, Enrico Favaretto, Chiara Fraccaro, Giambattista Isabella, Gino Gerosa, Sabino Iliceto, Alain Cribier
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2011, 91 (6): 1808-15

BACKGROUND: Severe aortic stenosis with a low transvalvular gradient and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) is often misdiagnosed, leading to undertreatment of such patients with no clear indication for surgical intervention. This study investigated the outcome of aortic valve replacement (AVR) in patients with severe aortic stenosis and a low transvalvular gradient despite normal LVEF.

METHODS: Between 1985 and 2008, we evaluated 73 patients who underwent AVR compared with 29 patients who did not. Overall, aortic valve area was 1.0 cm2 or smaller, LVEF was 0.50 or higher, and transvalvular gradient was 30 mm Hg or less. Multivariate and Cox analyses were used to compare these two groups according to AVR.

RESULTS: Compared with controls, AVR patients were younger and with higher body mass index. Coronary artery bypass grafting was performed simultaneously in 38 AVR patients (52%). At follow-up (median, 42 months; interquartile range, 23 to 75 months), survival was longer in AVR patients. By Cox analysis, AVR remained a major predictor of lower mortality (hazard ratio, 0.237; 95% confidence interval, 0.119 to 0.470; p<0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with severe aortic stenosis and low transvalvular gradient despite a normal LVEF, AVR was associated with significant improvement in long-term survival and functional status and with a low operative mortality.


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