Background: Valve-sparing aortic root replacement for treatment of aortic sinus disease avoids the problems of prosthetic valves, but some patients suffer late valve incompetence as a result of leaflet distortion or annular dilatation. The reimplantation technique using the De Paulis Valsalva graft might improve late results of valve-sparing aortic root replacement by maintaining annular stability and re-creating sinuses that minimize leaflet stress. Methods: Retrospective review was conducted of all patients at our institution who underwent valve-sparing aortic root replacement using the Valsalva graft. Clinical data were obtained from hospital and clinic charts and patient contacts; echocardiograms were analyzed for aortic root dimensions and valve function. Results: Between May 2002 and June 2005, 51 patients underwent valve-sparing aortic root replacement using the reimplantation technique with the Valsalva graft. Mean age was 33 ± 15 years; 22% (11 of 51) were children, and 80% (41 of 51) were male. Primary indication for surgery was root aneurysm in all patients. Preoperative mean root diameter was 5.0 ± 0.5 cm. Marfan syndrome was present in 67% (34 of 51), and 10% (5 of 51) had the newly described Loeys-Dietz syndrome. There were no operative or late deaths, and no patient required reoperation for bleeding. At mean follow-up of 1.8 years, there were no episodes of endocarditis or thromboembolism. Echocardiograms showed stability of the annulus and root dimensions on follow-up. No patient had more than 0 to 1+ aortic insufficiency or progression of aortic insufficiency. All were in New York Heart Association class I. Conclusions: Valve-sparing aortic root replacement using the Valsalva graft and reimplantation technique has excellent early results. Preservation of valve competence is encouraging, but long-term results will determine whether the anatomic design of this aortic root prosthesis is superior for preservation of valve integrity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine