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Ann Thorac Surg. 2002 Aug;74(2):438-43.

Aortic cusp extension valvuloplasty for rheumatic aortic valve disease: midterm results.

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  • 1Department of Cardiac Surgery, Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou, Paris University, France.



The surgical management of rheumatic aortic insufficiency in the young remains problematic owing to the drawbacks of prosthetic valve replacement at this age. In young foreign patients, for whom long-term anticoagulation therapy is unavailable, we have used a glutaraldehyde preserved autologous pericardium cusp extension technique to repair rheumatic aortic valve insufficiencies resulting from cusp retractions.


From September 1992 to December 2000, 89 consecutive patients with a mean age of 16 +/- 5 years underwent triple pericardial aortic cusp extension valvuloplasty. Eighty patients had pure aortic insufficiency, 9 had mixed aortic disease. Twenty-nine patients (33%) had isolated aortic valve disease and 60 patients (69%) had combined aortic and mitral valve disease with significant tricuspid valve disease in 21 (24%). Aortic repair consisted of free edge aortic cusp extension using three rectangular strips of glutaraldehyde stabilized autologous pericardium. Twenty-nine patients (33%) underwent an isolated aortic repair, 39 patients (44%) underwent combined aortic and mitral procedures (34 mitral repairs, 3 mitral homografts, and 2 prosthesis replacements), and 21 patients (23%) underwent a triple valve repair.


The hospital mortality was 2.2%. Primary failure of the aortic repair requiring immediate reoperation occurred in 2 patients. During follow-up (mean of 62 +/- 22 months) 1 patient died and 7 underwent redo valvular surgery. At 5 years the actuarial survival rate was 96.4%, and 92.1% of the patients were free from redo valvular surgery. At 7 years 90% of the patients were free from valve-related complications. Among the 76 patients free from redo valvular surgery at follow-up, 6 had deterioration of the repair resulting in grade II aortic and mitral insufficiencies.


Our midterm results of glutaraldehyde stabilized autologous pericardial aortic cusp extension are encouraging and suggest that this technique should be considered as a viable alternative palliative procedure in a young rheumatic population, allowing for growth of the annulus and delaying to a less critical period the need for the lifelong anticoagulation therapy required for a prosthetic mechanical valve.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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