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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2010 Sep;38(3):326-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ejcts.2010.02.014. Epub 2010 Mar 28.

Preservation of the pulmonary autograft after failure of the Ross procedure.

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Divisions of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Université Catholique de Louvain, Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc, Brussels, Belgium.



Failure of the pulmonary autograft following the Ross Procedure is mainly due to dilatation and/or cusp prolapse causing insufficiency. We analysed the result of pulmonary autograft valve sparing and repair, using techniques developed for native aortic root and valve.


Of a total of 275 patients who underwent Ross operation between 1991 and 2009, 31 needed autograft re-operation. Of the 28 patients re-operated in our centre, 26 (93%) had autograft valve preservation and they represent the study cohort. At the initial Ross procedure, root remplacement technique was performed in 20 patients and autograft inclusion technique was performed in 6. Mean redo interval was 9.3 + or - 3.5 years and mean age at redo was 44 + or - 13 years. Indications for re-operations were neo-aorta dilatation (n=12; 46%), autograft insufficiency (n=4; 15%) and dilatation with autograft insufficiency (n=10; 40%). Neo-aorta dilatation was repaired using valve-sparing root replacement (n=12, 46%) or ascending aorta replacement (n=10; 40%). Cusp prolapse was repaired by commissural re-suspension (n=1), free margin plication (n=10) or re-suspension with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE; n=6). Cusp repair was performed in isolation (n=4) or in association with sparing (n=5) or ascending aorta replacement (n=4).


There was no in-hospital mortality. Two patients having undergone isolated cusp repair needed valve replacement for recurrent insufficiency after 5 days and 8 years postoperatively. At follow-up (100% complete, median: 27 months) all patients were alive, in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class I (n=22; 84%) or II (n=4; 16%). No autograft regurgitation was present in nine patients (five sparing and four ascending aorta replacement); grade I insufficiency was present in 11 (six sparing and five ascending aorta replacement), grade 2 in two (one sparing and one isolated cusp repair) and grade 3 in two (one ascending aorta replacement and one isolated cusp repair). At 3 years, overall freedom from autograft insufficiency > or = grade 3 was 80%.


Preservation of the pulmonary autograft valve can be safely performed in selected patients. At midterm, repair of neo-aorta dilatation using valve-sparing root replacement or ascending aorta replacement showed acceptable results. In contrast, results of cusp repair for isolated autograft insufficiency were unsatisfactory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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