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Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Apr;81(4):1297-304.

Risk factors for postoperative heart failure in patients operated on for aortic stenosis.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden.



Risk factors for postoperative heart failure (PHF) have not been specifically studied in valve surgery although it has been acknowledged that patient variables may have a more profound influence on postoperative outcome than valve-related factors.


All patients undergoing isolated aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis from January 1995 to December 2000 in the southeast region of Sweden were studied (n = 398). Forty-five patients with aortic valve replacement required treatment for PHF. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis was carried out to identify risk factors for PHF.


Thirty-day mortality was 6.7% versus 1.4% for patients with and without PHF, respectively (p = 0.05). With regard to clinical presentation of aortic stenosis, angina was associated with reduced risk, whereas history of congestive heart failure increased the risk for PHF. Five preoperative (hypertension, history of congestive heart failure, severe systolic left ventricular dysfunction, pulmonary hypertension, preoperative hemodynamic instability) and two intraoperative (aortic cross-clamp time, intraoperative myocardial infarction) variables were identified as independent risk factors for PHF. Patient-prosthesis mismatch did not influence the risk of PHF significantly.


Postoperative heart failure was associated with a marked increase in postoperative mortality and morbidity. Risk factors for PHF were variables indicating preexisting myocardial dysfunction, increased right or left ventricular afterload, and intraoperative myocardial injury. Our results highlight issues concerning cross-clamp time and myocardial protection, particularly for patients with preoperatively compromised myocardial function. Asymptomatic patients with significant aortic stenosis should be considered for surgery before substantial echocardiographic evidence of left ventricular dysfunction or increased pulmonary artery pressure develops.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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