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



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.


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.


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.


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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