Background: Aortic root remodeling (ARR) has recently been proposed for patients with aortic aneurysms and valve insufficiency (AI). To define factors associated with a favorable functional outcome, a review of the mid-term results with ARR was undertaken.
Methods: Between March 1994 and October 1997, 17 consecutive patients (11 men, 6 women), aged 57 +/- 11 years (range 35-71), had elective ARR for aortic aneurysm with or without annuloaortic ectasia (13), sinus of Valsalva aneurysm (3), or chronic aortic dissection (1). Moderate or severe AI was present in 11 patients (65%). Preoperative aortic root diameter was 58 +/- 5 mm (range 51-70). ARR involved replacement of all three aortic sinuses and coronary button reimplantation, using grafts with a mean diameter of 28 +/- 2 mm (range 24-30).
Results: There was one early death (6%) due to multiple organ failure. Survivors were followed for 16 +/- 12 months (range 1-44). Actuarial 3-year survival was 94% +/- 6%. Discharge echocardiogram showed a decrease in AI in all patients: AI was absent in 11 (69%) and mild in 5 (31%). Recurrence of moderate or severe AI after a mean of 16 +/- 9 months (range 9-28) was noted in 6 patients (37%), 3 of whom had no AI at discharge. Five of 6 patients required aortic valve replacement. Comparison of demographic and operative variables showed that severe preoperative AI (67% vs 20%, p = 0.06), annuloaortic ectasia (100% vs 20%, p = 0.002), and cystic medial necrosis (100% vs 20%, p = 0.002) were significantly more prevalent in patients developing severe AI at follow-up. The 10 patients (63%) with absent AI showed durable competence of the valve and relief from symptoms at follow-up.
Conclusions: Despite early restoration of valve competence, AI may recur and progress after ARR at medium-term follow-up in a proportion of patients. The severity of preoperative AI and the nature of aortic root disease may negatively influence the durability of repair. Continued observation of results with ARR appears mandatory to identify the appropriate surgical candidates.