Aortic valve repair versus replacement for aortic regurgitation: effects on left ventricular remodeling

Madelien V Regeer, Michel I M Versteegh, Robert J M Klautz, Theo Stijnen, Martin J Schalij, Jeroen J Bax, Nina Ajmone Marsan, Victoria Delgado
Journal of Cardiac Surgery 2015, 30 (1): 13-9

BACKGROUND: Left ventricular (LV) reverse remodeling after aortic valve replacement (AVR) for aortic regurgitation (AR) is associated with superior prognosis. The outcomes of valve-sparing aortic root replacement techniques on LV performance have not been compared with LV reverse remodeling in AVR. The present evaluation compared the extent of long-term LV reverse remodeling in patients with aortic root pathology and/or AR who underwent aortic valve repair (AVr) with patients who underwent AVR.

METHODS: A total of 226 patients (54.7 ± 14.3 years, 63% male) with AR or aortic root pathology who underwent AVr (n = 135) or AVR with the Freestyle® stentless aortic root bioprosthesis [Medtronic, Inc.; Minneapolis, Minnesota] (n = 91) were included in the present retrospective evaluation. LV volumes and ejection fraction were assessed preoperatively, postoperatively (before hospital discharge) and during follow-up.

RESULTS: Baseline characteristics were comparable between patient groups, except for higher prevalence of bicuspid aortic valve anatomy among AVR patients (38% vs. 16%, p < 0.001). In addition, patients undergoing AVR had significantly larger LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes than their counterparts. After a median follow-up of 46 months (interquartile range: 17 to 78 months), both groups of patients showed a significant and sustained reduction in LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes, with significantly larger reduction in patients undergoing AVR. Ejection fraction decreased significantly postoperatively and improved later during follow-up similarly in both groups. The incidence of significant AR at long-term follow-up was comparable among groups (AVr: 8% vs. AVR: 7%).

CONCLUSIONS: LV reverse remodeling occurs after AVR and AVr, reaching comparable LV volumes and function after a median of four years of follow-up.

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