Background. The aim of the present study was to verify the efficacy of preserving the aortic valve in patients with acute type A aortic dissection complicated by significant aortic regurgitation. Methods. From January 1979 to December 1996, 178 patients (125 males; mean age 57 ± 9 years) underwent emergency surgery for acute type A aortic dissection, with an overall operative mortality rate of 21%. based on a retrospective analysis of the preoperative angio- or echocardiographic findings, the 141 survivors were divided into 2 groups: Group 1 (G1) included 80 patients (57%) with no or mild aortic regurgitation, and Group 2 (G2) the remaining 61 patients with moderate-to-severe aortic regurgitation. The native aortic valve was preserved by means of a uniform technique consisting of reconstruction of the aortic root and sinotubular junction in 99 patients (70%) [68 in G1 (85%) and 31 in G2 (51%)]. Forty-two patients required aortic valve (8 patients; 6%) or total root replacement (34 patients; 24%). Results. At a mean follow-up of 4 ± 3.6 years (range, 6 months to 19 years), 19 of the 99 patients with a preserved aortic valve developed moderate-to-severe aortic insufficiency [19%; 7/68 in G1 (10%) and 12/31 in G2 (39%)]. Multivariate analysis revealed that moderate-to-severe preoperative aortic valve insufficiency was a significant risk factor for development of postoperative aortic valve regurgitation (p = 0.008). Reoperation was necessary in 7 G1 patients (10%) and in 8 G2 patients (26%), with an actuarial freedom from reoperation at 5 and 10 years of 93% ± 7% and 80% ± 9% in G1 patients, and 81% ± 8% and 40% ± 15% in G2 patients (p = 0.045). Conclusions. Preservation of the aortic valve and aortic root is recommended in patients with acute type A aortic dissection and absent or mild aortic insufficiency. Patients presenting with moderate-to-severe aortic regurgitation and treated conservatively present an increased risk of recurrent valvular insufficiency.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine