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Circulation. 2013 Apr 23;127(16):1647-55. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.113.002003. Epub 2013 Mar 28.

Long-term safety and effectiveness of mechanical versus biologic aortic valve prostheses in older patients: results from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery National Database.

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Duke Clinical Research Institute, 2400 Pratt St, Durham, NC 27705, USA.



There is a paucity of long-term data comparing biological versus mechanical aortic valve prostheses in older individuals.


We performed follow-up of patients aged 65 to 80 years undergoing aortic valve replacement with a biological (n=24 410) or mechanical (n=14 789) prosthesis from 1991 to 1999 at 605 centers within the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database using Medicare inpatient claims (mean, 12.6 years; maximum, 17 years; minimum, 8 years), and outcomes were compared by propensity methods. Among Medicare-linked patients undergoing aortic valve replacement (mean age, 73 years), both reoperation (4.0%) and endocarditis (1.9%) were uncommon to 12 years; however, the risk for other adverse outcomes was high, including death (66.5%), stroke (14.1%), and bleeding (17.9%). Compared with those receiving a mechanical valve, patients given a bioprosthesis had a similar adjusted risk for death (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.07), higher risks for reoperation (hazard ratio, 2.55; 95% confidence interval, 2.14-3.03) and endocarditis (hazard ratio, 1.60; 95% confidence interval, 1.31-1.94), and lower risks for stroke (hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.82-0.93) and bleeding (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.62-0.70). Although these results were generally consistent among patient subgroups, bioprosthesis patients aged 65 to 69 years had a substantially elevated 12-year absolute risk of reoperation (10.5%).


Among patients undergoing aortic valve replacement, long-term mortality rates were similar for those who received bioprosthetic versus mechanical valves. Bioprostheses were associated with a higher long-term risk of reoperation and endocarditis but a lower risk of stroke and hemorrhage. These risks varied as a function of a patient's age and comorbidities.

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