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Circulation. 2012 Sep 25;126(13):1621-9. Epub 2012 Aug 20.

Long-term survival after aortic valve replacement among high-risk elderly patients in the United States: insights from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, 1991 to 2007.

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  • 1Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, NC 27705, USA.



Surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR) remains the standard of care for the treatment of operable, symptomatic aortic valve disease; however, to date, there are limited national data on the contemporary long-term outcomes after AVR in older individuals.


We examined long-term survival among 145 911 AVR patients ≥ 65 years of age undergoing AVR at 1026 centers with participation in the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database from 1991 to 2007. In-hospital complications and long-term survival were stratified by age, Society of Thoracic Surgeons perioperative risk of mortality, and several comorbidities. The median patient age was 76 years; 16% had chronic lung disease, 6% had preoperative renal failure, 38% had heart failure, and 12% had prior cardiac surgery. The median survival in patients 65 to 69, 70 to 79, and ≥ 80 years of age undergoing isolated AVR was 13, 9, and 6 years, respectively. For AVR plus coronary artery bypass graft procedures, median survival was 10, 8, and 6 years, respectively. Although only 5% of isolated AVR patients had a high Society of Thoracic Surgeons perioperative risk of mortality (≥ 10%), their median survival was 2.5 to 2.7 years. Severe lung disease and renal failure were each associated with a ≥ 50% reduction in median survival among all age groups compared with those who did not have these comorbidities, whereas left ventricular dysfunction and prior cardiac operation were associated with a 25% reduction in median survival.


Long-term survival after surgical AVR in the elderly is excellent, although patients with a high Society of Thoracic Surgeons perioperative risk of mortality and those with certain comorbidities carry a particularly poor long-term prognosis.

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