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Can J Cardiol. 2007 Mar 1;23(3):223-7.

Valve surgery in octogenarians: in-hospital and long-term outcomes.

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Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council of Italy, Lecce Section.



Global population aging and greater age-related incidence of ischemic, degenerative and calcific valve disease have led to an increasing number of very elderly patients being referred for valve surgery. However, their preoperative risk factors, and in-hospital and long-term outcomes have not been thoroughly investigated.


Three hundred seven consecutive patients 80 years and older (60% female; mean age 83+/-2.4 years) attending three major Italian cardiac centres to undergo valve surgery were evaluated. Seventy-nine patients underwent mitral valve surgery (isolated n=30, combined n=49) and 228 underwent aortic valve surgery (isolated n=134, combined n=94).


The most frequent in-hospital complications were atrial arrhythmias, need for inotropic support for more than 48 h, renal insufficiency, congestive heart failure, respiratory failure, and stroke or transient ischemic attack. The in-hospital mortality rate was 9.7% (30 of 307). Multivariate logistic regression identified the following clinical variables as predictors of in-hospital death: New York Heart Association functional class IV, diabetes, hypertension, renal insufficiency at presentation, rheumatic etiology and left ventricular ejection fraction of less than 45%. Late mortality occurred in 45 of 277 patients (16.2%), but there was a substantial improvement in the New York Heart Association functional class of the 232 long-term survivors (from 3.0+/-0.7 to 1.7+/-0.6; P<0.0001).


Surgery seems to be an effective therapeutic option for selected symptomatic octogenarians with valve disease, associated with good long-term survival and an improved functional class. Operative mortality is related more to patients' preoperative clinical status and increased comorbidity than the type of surgery per se.

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