Quality of life after aortic valve surgery: replacement versus reconstruction

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011 Aug;142(2):e19-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2011.02.006. Epub 2011 Mar 29.


Objective: Quality of life has been shown to be influenced by aortic valve replacement, particularly in younger patients. Aortic valve repair is a recent alternative to replacement. We investigated quality of life and anxiety and depression after aortic valve repair and compared with 2 established replacement alternatives, mechanical valve and pulmonary autograft.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 166 patients (age, 18-45 years) were studied after isolated elective aortic valve surgery. They had undergone aortic valve repair (group I, n = 86), replacement with mechanical prosthesis (group II, n = 41), or pulmonary autograft (group III, n = 39). Assessment was performed by Short Form Health Survey, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Cardiac Anxiety Questionnaire, and valve-specific questions.

Results: In Short Form Health Survey, groups I and III revealed similar or identical scores better than group II in physical functioning (P = .02), general health (P = .03), and mental health (P = .05). No differences were found in Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score. In cardiac anxiety, there was less heart-focused attention in groups I and III than in group II (P = .043, P = .053). In response to valve-specific questions, there were no differences between groups I and III. Interestingly, fear of reoperation was identical in all 3 groups.

Conclusions: In young patients after aortic valve surgery quality of life is influenced by type of operation. Although differences are limited, aortic valve reconstruction and pulmonary autograft replacement lead to less long-term alteration from normal values.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety / etiology
  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / surgery
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / etiology
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pulmonary Valve / transplantation
  • Quality of Life*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Transplantation, Autologous