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Ann Thorac Surg. 2012 Feb;93(2):495-502. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2011.10.017. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Long-term results of 203 young and middle-aged patients with more than 10 years of follow-up after the original subcoronary Ross operation.

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Department of Cardiac and Thoracic Vascular Surgery, University of Luebeck, Luebeck, Germany.



The choice of prosthesis for aortic valve replacement in young and middle-aged patients remains challenging owing to the accelerated degeneration of bioprostheses in these age groups and the risks of thromboembolism and bleeding with mechanical valves. Theoretically, the living pulmonary autograft (Ross operation) would be advantageous. Long-term results of the various Ross techniques are needed for defining the value of this surgical concept.


Of a total of 576 subcoronary Ross patients operated on between June 1994 and June 2011, we report on 203 consecutive subcoronary patients (mean age, 47.2±13.6 years, 155 male, 2,491 patient-years) with a follow-up of at least 10 years (mean, 12.3±2.9 years).


Early and late mortality were 0.98% (n=2) and 11.4% (n=23). Valve-related mortality was 2.5% (n=5). Survival did not differ from that of the general German population. Freedom from autograft or allograft reoperation was 92.2% at 10 years and 87.1% at 15 years. Five major bleeding (0.20%/patient-year) and 11 thromboembolic events (0.44%/patient-year) occurred in 5 and 10 patients, respectively. Neither a systematic increase in aortic regurgitation nor an increase in root dimensions with time could be observed. In the vast majority of patients, valvular hemodynamics at latest echocardiographic follow-up were excellent.


Long-term results of the original subcoronary Ross operation reveal normal survival, excellent hemodynamics, low risk of thromboembolism or bleeding, and small risk for reoperation. These results favor the pulmonary autograft concept in young and middle-aged patients in experienced centers and may serve to better define its role in surgical treatment of aortic valve disease in these patients.


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