Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the early and late clinical outcome after aortic root replacement (ARR) in patients with Marfan's syndrome.
Methods: A total of 65 consecutive patients with Marfan's syndrome (mean age 41.7 +/- 10.7 years, range 15 to 76 years) undergoing ARR between 1972 and 1998 in Southampton were studied. Of the patients, 45 had a chronic aneurysm of the ascending aorta and 20 had a type A dissection (16 acute and 4 chronic). The operations were elective in 38 and nonelective in 27 cases (emergency in 22 and urgent in 5). Mean size of the ascending aorta was 6.3 +/- 1.4 cm (3.8 to 12 cm). A Bentall procedure was performed in 62 and a homograft root replacement in 3 patients. Mean follow-up was 8 +/- 4.1 years (0 to 22.9 years).
Results: Operative mortality was 6.1% (4 deaths) (for the elective vs nonelective procedures it was 2.6% vs 11%, p = 0.2). The 10-year freedom from thromboembolism, hemorrhage, and endocarditis was 88%, 89.8%, and 98.4% (0.9%, 0.9%, and 0.2% per patient-year) and from late aortic events it was 86.3% (1.3% per patient-year). Aortic root replacement for dissection was an independent predictor of occurrence of late aortic events (p = 0.01). Five patients had a reoperation with one early death. The 10-year freedom from reoperation was 89.2% (1.1% per patient year) (for elective and nonelective procedures, 90.8% vs 84.6%, p = 0.6). The 10-year survival, including operative mortality, was 72.7% (for elective and nonelective procedures, 78% vs 66.5%, p = 0.6). Late aortic events was an independent adverse predictor of survival (p = 0.02).
Conclusions: In patients with Marfan's syndrome, elective ARR, usually for chronic aneurysm, is associated with a low mortality, low rate of aortic complications, and good late survival. Nonelective ARR, mostly for dissection, has a greater operative risk and a significantly higher incidence of late catastrophic aortic events. Early prophylactic surgery in these patients is therefore recommended. Long-term clinical and radiologic follow-up to prevent or to treat late aortic events is highly desirable.