Objectives: To evaluate the incidence of perivalvular leaks (PVLs) after valve replacement and assess its impact on immediate postoperative outcomes.
Design: A retrospective review.
Settings: A tertiary care university hospital.
Participants: Four hundred forty-two consecutive patients undergoing aortic (AVR) and/or mitral (MVR) valve replacement.
Measurements and main results: All patients had comprehensive intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography. Follow-up transthoracic echocardiography was performed at 5 to 7 days and 1 year after surgery. PVLs were classified as trace, mild, moderate, and severe. Perioperative variables including demographic data, surgical characteristics including the degree of valve calcification, and postoperative outcomes were compared between patients with and without PVLs. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to identify the variables predictive of PVLs. PVLs were identified in a total of 53 (12%) patients, 29 (13%) after MVR and 24 (11%) after AVR. At the 1-year transthoracic echocardiographic follow-up, 2 (7%) of 27 patients had residual PVLs after MVR and none after AVR. The duration of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) was predictive of PVLs. The presence of PVLs was associated with postoperative sepsis.
Conclusions: The incidence of PVLs was similar after MVR and AVR. Bioprosthetic MVR and mechanical AVR were associated with higher-incidence PVLs when compared with controls. Mitral annular calcification was a potential risk factor for PVLs with bioprosthetic valves. The prolonged CPB time was predictive of PVLs. After adjusting for covariates, the overall presence of PVLs was associated with an increased risk of sepsis after surgery.
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