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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1996 Mar 1;27(3):670-7.

Aortic regurgitation complicated by extreme left ventricular dilation: long-term outcome after surgical correction.

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Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



This study sought to determine the outcome of aortic valve replacement for aortic regurgitation complicated by extreme left ventricular dilation.


Aortic valve replacement has been recommended in aortic regurgitation with extreme left ventricular dilation (diastolic dimension >/= 80 mm), but extreme left ventricular dilation raises concern about irreversible left ventricular dysfunction.


Thirty-one patients with a preoperative echocardiographic diastolic dimension >/= 80 mm (group 1) undergoing operation for severe isolated aortic regurgitation between 1980 and 1989 were compared with 188 patients with a diastolic dimension <80 mm operated on during the same period (group 2).


Preoperatively, extreme left ventricular dilation was seen only in male patients and was associated with a reduced ejection fraction (43 +/- 12% vs. 53 +/- 11% [mean +/- SD], p < 0.0001). The postoperative outcome of group 1 was compared with that of male patients in group 2 (group 2M, n = 144). The operative mortality rates for groups 1 and 2M were 0% and 5.6%, respectively (p = 0.35). Late survival in operative survivors was similar in groups 1 and 2M, but compared with expected survival, an excess mortality was observed for group 1 (p = 0.024). Preoperative ejection fraction, but not diastolic dimension, independently predicted late survival and postoperative ejection fraction. Postoperatively, groups 1 and 2M showed a similar improvement in ejection fraction, but persistent left ventricular enlargement was more frequent in group 1.


Extreme left ventricular dilation due to aortic regurgitation is observed in male patients and is frequently associated preoperatively with a reduced ejection fraction but is not a marker of irreversible left ventricular dysfunction. Operative risk and late postoperative survival are acceptable in these patients, although a late excess mortality, predicted best by preoperative ejection fraction, is observed. Therefore, extreme left ventricular dilation is not a contraindication to operation, which should be performed before left ventricular dysfunction occurs.

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