A systematic review on the quality of life benefits after aortic valve replacement in the elderly

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2013 May;145(5):1173-89. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2013.01.004. Epub 2013 Feb 14.


Background: Surgical aortic valve replacement is being increasingly performed in elderly patients with good perioperative outcomes and long-term survival. Evidence is limited on health-related quality of life after aortic valve replacement, which is an important measure of operative success in the elderly.

Methods: A systematic review of clinical studies after January 2000 was performed to identify health-related quality of life in the elderly after aortic valve replacement. Strict inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied. Quality appraisal of each study also was performed using predefined criteria. Health-related quality of life results were synthesized through a narrative review with full tabulation of the results of all included studies.

Results: Health-related quality of life improvements were shown across most or all domains in different health-related quality of life instruments. Elderly patients experienced marked symptomatic improvement. Health-related quality of life was equivalent or superior to both an age-matched population and younger patients undergoing identical procedures. There were excellent functional gains after surgery, but elderly patients remain susceptible to geriatric issues and mood problems. Concomitant coronary artery bypass did not affect health-related quality of life. There was a diverse range of study designs, methods, and follow-up times that limited direct comparison between studies.

Conclusions: Aortic valve replacement results in significant health-related quality of life benefits across a broad range of health domains in elderly patients. Age alone should not be a precluding factor for surgery. Data are heterogeneous and mostly retrospective. We recommend future studies based on consistent guidelines provided in this systematic review.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve / physiopathology
  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / mortality
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / psychology
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / surgery*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation* / adverse effects
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation* / mortality
  • Humans
  • Patient Selection
  • Quality of Life*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome