Valve surgery in octogenarians: a safe option with good medium-term results

J Heart Valve Dis. 2006 Mar;15(2):191-6; discussion 196.


Background and aim of the study: The number of octogenarians is increasing in industrialized societies, and many patients aged over 80 years have heart valve disease which is amenable to surgical treatment. The perioperative outcomes and long-term results in very elderly patients undergoing valve surgery were evaluated.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted of 2,791 patients with long-term follow up, who underwent valve surgery between 1990 and 2002. Of these patients, 132 (68 males, 64 females) were aged over 80 years (mean age 82 +/- 2 years; range: 80-94 years).

Results: Ninety-five patients (71.9%) underwent aortic valve replacement, 36 (27.3%) mitral surgery, and one patient had double-valve surgery. Sixty-five patients (49.2%) required concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting. There were 11 (8.3%) redo procedures. Patients aged over 80 years were significantly more symptomatic preoperatively than their younger counterparts (NYHA class III-IV 90.9% versus 69.0%, p < 0.001), with more congestive cardiac failure, hypertension, peripheral vascular disease, obstructive pulmonary disease, and renal failure (all p < 0.05). Perioperative mortality did not, however, differ significantly between groups (< 80 years versus > or = 80 years, 2.9% versus 4.6%, p = 0.10). There was also no difference in the composite end point of in-hospital death, renal failure, stroke, low output state, myocardial infarction, or sternal wound infection (< 80 years versus > or = 80 years, 10.5% versus 11.4%, p = 0.8). The mean follow up period was 66 +/- 44 months (< 80 years) versus 61 +/- 37 (> or = 80 years). Late mortality was higher in the elderly group (10-year survival 37.9% versus 68.2%, p < 0.001) and preoperative atrial fibrillation (RR 2.75; CI: 1.44-5.23), coronary artery disease (RR 1.98; CI 1.12-3.52) and congestive cardiac failure (RR 2.13; CI: 1.10-4.11) were independent predictors of late mortality. The groups did not differ with respect to long-term valve-related events, with the exception of fewer reoperations among elderly patients.

Conclusion: Valve surgery in selected octogenarians is associated with low morbidity and mortality. The outlook after surgery is very good, and surgery should not be denied to this group on the basis of age alone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Valve Diseases / mortality
  • Heart Valve Diseases / surgery*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome