Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the natural history of moderate aortic stenosis in veterans--a unique patient population with significant comorbidities.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients who underwent echocardiography at a single veterans affairs hospital during 2006. We identified consecutive patients who had moderate aortic stenosis as indicated by a mean transaortic gradient of 25 to 40 mm Hg, peak aortic jet velocity of 3 to 4 m/s, or aortic valve area of 1.0 to 1.5 cm(2). The primary end point was defined as survival without aortic valve replacement.
Results: Of the 104 patients (mean age, 74 ± 10 years), 49% had diabetes, 21% had peripheral vascular disease, 21% were current smokers, 18% had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 60% had coronary artery disease, 89% had hypertension, and 31% had a body mass index of 30 kg/m(2) or more. Mean ejection fraction was 49% ± 12%. During the mean follow-up period of 22 months (range, 1-67 months), 30% of patients underwent aortic valve replacement--26% for symptomatic severe aortic stenosis and 4% concomitantly with coronary artery bypass grafting as the primary indicated operation--and 61% died. Event-free survivals were 48%, 24%, and 15% at 1, 3, and 5 years, respectively.
Conclusions: Our cohort of military veteran patients had significant comorbidities. Event-free survival for such patients who have moderate aortic stenosis is significantly lower than previously reported data suggest. Within this unique group of patients, identifying factors that accelerate the progression of moderate aortic stenosis would help surgeons select patients who may benefit from early aortic valve replacement for moderate aortic stenosis.
Published by Mosby, Inc.