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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2004 Mar;127(3):645-53.

Is repair of aortic valve regurgitation a safe alternative to valve replacement?

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Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



To assess outcome of valve repair in patients with aortic valve regurgitation with emphasis on incidence and risk of reoperation.


We retrospectively reviewed 160 consecutive patients (127 men) who underwent aortic valve repair between 1986 and 2001. Ages ranged from 14 to 84 years (mean 55 +/- 17 years). Patients were categorized according to the main etiology of valve disease; 63 patients (39%) had annular dilation leading to central leakage, 54 (34%) had bicuspid valve, 34 (21%) with tricuspid valve had cusp prolapse, and 9 (6%) had cusp perforation. Repair methods included commissural plication (n = 154, 96%), partial cusp resection with plication (n = 47, 29%), resuspension or cusp shortening (n = 44, 28%), and closure of cusp perforation (n = 10, 6%).


There was 1 early death (0.6%). Two patients required re-repair of the aortic valve during initial hospitalization. During a mean follow-up of 4.2 years, there were 16 late deaths. Overall, 16 of 159 hospital survivors had late reoperation on the aortic valve (mean interval 2.8 years) without early mortality. Risks of reoperation on the aortic valve were 9%, 11%, and 15% at 3, 5, and 7 years, respectively.


Aortic valve repair can be performed with low risk and excellent freedom from valve-related morbidity and mortality. Late recurrence of aortic valve regurgitation led to reoperation in 8.8% of patients, but mortality associated with subsequent procedures is low. Aortic valve repair appears to be a good option for selected patients, particularly young patients who wish to avoid chronic anticoagulation with warfarin.

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