Background: Aortic valve repair is associated with fewer long-term valve-related complications as compared with valve replacement, and repair is being performed increasingly. A current problem is the lack of a geometric annuloplasty ring to facilitate reconstruction. This paper describes the first clinical application of such a device designed to permanently restore physiologic annular size and geometry during aortic valve repair.
Methods: Based on mathematical studies of human cadaver valves, as well as computed tomography angiographic analyses of awake patients with normal valves, a three-dimensional annuloplasty ring has been developed, consisting of low-profile, one-piece titanium construction and Dacron cloth covering. The ring design incorporates 2:3 elliptical base geometry and 10-degree outwardly flaring subcommissural posts.
Results: Appropriately sized rings were implanted in 5 patients with severe aortic insufficiency due to annular dilation and anatomic leaflet defects. The rings restored annular geometry and facilitated leaflet repairs in all patients. Each recovered excellent valve function with minimal residual leak. All patients convalesced uneventfully, were discharged within 7 days after surgery, and continue with stable valve function as long as 6 months after implantation.
Conclusions: Initial clinical application of a geometric aortic annuloplasty ring was associated with excellent device performance and perhaps better repairs. Further clinical series and patient follow-up should identify potential benefits of the device, including improved applicability and stability of aortic valve repair.
Copyright © 2013 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.