Use of the Valsalva graft and long-term follow-up

Ruggero De Paulis, Raffaele Scaffa, Saverio Nardella, Daniele Maselli, Luca Weltert, Fabio Bertoldo, Davide Pacini, Fabrizio Settepani, Giuseppe Tarelli, Roberto Gallotti, Roberto Di Bartolomeo, Luigi Chiariello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The Valsalva graft is a specifically designed Dacron graft that, on implantation and pressurization, generates pseudosinuses of Valsalva. We reviewed a multicenter experience of the reimplantation procedure with the Valsalva graft in patients with aneurysms involving the aortic root. Methods: A total of 278 patients underwent valve-sparing aortic root replacement using the Valsalva graft at 4 different Italian cardiac surgery centers and were studied by clinical assessment and echocardiography. Of the 278 patients, 220 were men (79%), with a mean age of 56 ± 15 years. Of the patients, 42 (15%) had Marfan syndrome, 31 (11%) had a bicuspid aortic valve, 13 (5%) had acute aortic dissection, and 136 (49%) had grade 3 or 4+ aortic insufficiency. Concomitant cardiac procedures were performed in 78 patients (28%). Additional aortic leaflet repair was necessary in 25 patients (9%). The mean crossclamp time was 120 ± 27 minutes. Results: There were 5 (1.8%) operative and 5 (1.8%) late deaths. The mean follow-up was 52 ± 28 months (range, 2-112 months) and was 100% complete. The cumulative actuarial survival was 95.2% (268 patients). A total of 32 patients (11%) had grade 3 to 4+ aortic insufficiency, and 17 of these required late aortic valve replacement (range, 3-78 months). At 10 years of follow-up, the freedom from aortic valve reoperation rate was 91%, and the rate of freedom from residual aortic insufficiency not needing reoperation was 88%. Conclusions: The reimplantation type of valve-sparing procedure can be facilitated by the use of the Valsalva graft and can be performed with satisfactory perioperative and midterm results. How an optimal root reconstruction will affect the second decade of follow-up has yet to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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