Surgical aortic valvotomy in infancy: impact of leaflet morphology on long-term outcomes

Ann Thorac Surg. 2003 Nov;76(5):1412-6. doi: 10.1016/s0003-4975(03)01028-2.


Background: Surgical valvotomy for critical aortic stenosis in children enables relatively accurate commissurotomies to be fashioned, resulting in the formation of two or three leaflets. We hypothesized that outcomes after surgery may be best in patients in whom three leaflets are produced.

Methods: A retrospective review of infants undergoing primary surgical valvotomy at our institution during a 12-year period was carried out. Patients who had additional intracardiac defects were excluded. Clinical and echocardiographic follow-up data were analyzed.

Results: Fifty-four patients fulfilled the study criteria. Median age at surgery was 3 weeks (range, 0 to 51 weeks). Commissurotomy resulted in bileaflet anatomy in 41 patients (group A) and trileaflet anatomy in 13 patients (group B). Operative mortality was 5% in group A and 0% in group B (p = 1.0). In group A, 18 patients required one or more aortic valve reinterventions, including valve replacement in 8 patients. In group B, there was only one reintervention (repeat valvotomy). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that at 10 years, comparisons of group A versus group B were as follows: actuarial survival, 85% versus 100% (p = 0.15); freedom from reintervention, 33% versus 92% (p = 0.01); freedom from aortic reoperation, 45% versus 92% (p = 0.04); and freedom from aortic valve replacement, 57% versus 100% (p = 0.07).

Conclusions: Long-term outcomes after aortic valvotomy are significantly better in infants in whom surgery results in trileaflet rather than bileaflet anatomy. Preoperative evaluation of valve morphology may enable selection of a group of patients in whom results of surgery are excellent.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / mortality
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / mortality*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Echocardiography, Doppler
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Probability
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome