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Ann Thorac Surg. 2013 Apr;95(4):1367-71. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2012.07.008. Epub 2012 Aug 9.

Outcomes of mechanical valves in the pulmonic position in patients with congenital heart disease over a 20-year period.

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1
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Homografts or bioprosthetic valves have been preferred in the pulmonic position in patients with congenital heart disease. However, unsatisfactory long-term results have aroused interest in the use of mechanical valves. In this study, we investigated the long-term outcomes of mechanical valves implanted in the pulmonic position.

METHODS:

The medical records of 37 patients (27 male, 73%) who underwent 38 mechanical pulmonary valve replacements between October 1988 and February 2011 were reviewed, retrospectively. The median age of patients was 13.5 years (range, 7 months to 23 years), and the median number of prior operations per patient was 2 (range, 0 to 5). Tetralogy of Fallot was the most common diagnosis (n=23). The median valve size was 23 mm (range, 17 to 27 mm), and the median follow-up duration after pulmonary valve replacement was 24.6 months (range, 1.3 months to 22.5 years). Events were defined as the following: valve failure, thrombosis, embolism, bleeding, reoperation, and death.

RESULTS:

There was no in-hospital mortality, but there were 2 late deaths (1 heart failure and 1 traffic accident at 10.8 months and 8.7 years postoperatively, respectively). Excluding the traffic accident death, survival rates were 97%, 97%, and 97%, at 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively. Freedom from thromboembolism or bleeding events was 92%, 92%, and 78.8%, at 1, 5 and 10 years, respectively. Two reoperations were performed at 6.8 and 10.2 years postoperatively. Freedom from reoperation was 100%, 100%, and 85.7%, at 1, 5, and 10 years, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

Durability of mechanical valve in pulmonic position was excellent. Thromboembolism or bleeding events due to anticoagulation therapy were rare. In growing patients who have undergone prior sternotomies requiring a pulmonary valve replacement, a mechanical valve could be an attractive option.

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