Background: Introduced by DePaulis in 2000, the Gelweave Valsalva graft (Sulzer Vascutek, Refrewshire, Scotland) is a modified Dacron conduit (DuPont, Wilmington, DE), with prefashioned sinuses of Valsalva. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mid-term results of the reimplantation valve-sparing aortic root replacement using the Gelweave Valsalva prosthesis in Marfan syndrome patients.
Methods: A retrospective review was performed of 35 patients with Marfan syndrome in four centers who underwent the reimplantation valve-sparing aortic root replacement using the Gelweave Valsalva prosthesis.
Results: The patients were predominantly men, with a mean age of 36.5 +/- 12.6 years (range, 14 to 62 years). Two patients presented with acute type A dissections and underwent emergent operations. Elective hemiarch reconstruction using hypothermic circulatory arrest was required in 11 patients. Aortic valve cusp repair was performed in 2 patients. There were no operative or hospital deaths, and no patients died during follow-up. The mean follow-up was 19 months (range, 1 to 60 months). Significant (>2+) aortic insufficiency (AI), requiring aortic valve replacement, developed in 3 patients during follow-up that requiring aortic valve replacement. The 5-year freedom from reoperation owing to structural valve deterioration was 88.9% +/- 8.1%. There were no episodes of clinically significant thromboembolism.
Conclusions: Reimplantation valve-sparing aortic root replacement with the Gelweave Valsalva prosthesis in Marfan patients provides satisfactory mid-term results, thus encouraging further use of this type of repair. However, long-term results are needed in order to define the durability of this technique.