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Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Jan;81(1):29-33.

Long-term neurocognitive function after mechanical aortic valve replacement.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. daniel.zimpfer@meduniwien.ac.at

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mechanical aortic valves are a possible source of microemboli potentially causing cerebral injury. Therefore, the long-term impact of mechanical aortic valve replacement on neurocognitive function is uncertain.

METHODS:

In this prospective, contemporary study, we followed 32 consecutive patients (aged 51 +/- 8 years; range, 38 to 70; EuroSCORE [European System for Cardiac Operative Risk Evaluation] 4.4 +/- 1.7) undergoing isolated aortic valve replacement with a mechanical prosthesis. A cohort of age- and sex-matched patients (n = 28, aged 50 +/- 7 years) served as nonsurgical controls. After aortic valve replacement, neurocognitive function was serially reevaluated at 7-day (n = 32), 4-month (n = 31), and 3-year (n = 29) follow-up. Neurocognitive function was measured by means of P300 auditory evoked potentials.

RESULTS:

Before the operation, P300 peak latencies were comparable between surgical patients (361 +/- 32 ms) and nonsurgical controls (365 +/- 33 ms, p = 0.783). In patients undergoing aortic valve replacement, P300 peak latencies were prolonged 7 days after surgery (380 +/- 32 ms) as compared with before the operation (361 +/- 32 ms, p < 0.0001) and as compared with nonsurgical controls (364 +/- 34 ms, p = 0.002). At 4-month (369 +/- 30 ms, p = 0.752) and 3-year (370 +/- 31 ms, p = 0.825) follow-up, P300 peak latencies normalized as compared with before operation and as compared with nonsurgical controls (4-month follow-up 363 +/- 31 ms, p = 0.832; 3-year follow-up 366 +/- 32 ms, p = 0.432). We found no difference in patients with different valve types.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite previous assumptions based on the potential occurrence of microemboli in patients with mechanical valves, mechanical aortic valve replacement has no adverse long-term impact on neurocognitive function. This finding is only valid for patients with a comparable age range undergoing isolated aortic valve replacement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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