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Ann Thorac Surg. 2007 Jun;83(6):2044-9.

Aortic annular enlargement during aortic valve replacement: improving results with time.

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Division of Cardiac Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, Department of Surgery, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Enlargement of the aortic annulus during aortic valve replacement permits insertion of a larger prosthetic valve. Previous reports suggest patch enlargement of the aortic annulus increases operative morbidity and mortality during aortic valve replacement. We compared outcomes for this procedure in a contemporary group of patients with those operated on during an earlier era, to determine whether aortic annular enlargement is still associated with worse outcomes.


We reviewed prospectively gathered data on all patients undergoing aortic valve replacement and aortic annular enlargement at our institution from 1995 to 2005 (n = 669). We compared patient outcomes from two consecutive time periods: 1995 through 2000 (n = 360) versus 2001 through 2005 (n = 309). Propensity matching adjusted for baseline differences in a secondary analysis.


Operative mortality was significantly lower in the more recent surgical group (2.9% versus 7.2%; p = 0.013). The rates of perioperative myocardial infarction (1.9% versus 1.1%; p = 0.4), stroke (2.9% versus 3.3%; p = 0.8), and pacemaker implantation (9.1% versus 12.5%; p = 0.16) were similar for both groups (2001 through 2005 versus 1995 through 2000, respectively). The earlier group of patients had a higher prevalence of congestive heart failure, syncope, angina, New York Heart Association class III or IV symptoms, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, mitral valve disease, and previous cardiac surgery. After adjusting for these baseline differences with propensity matching, the risk of perioperative death remained lower in the contemporary group (3% versus 7.5%; p = 0.04).


Enlargement of the aortic annulus in the modern era is a safe adjunct to aortic valve replacement, and should be considered in selected patients to avoid patient-prosthesis mismatch.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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