Toward individualized management of the ascending aorta in bicuspid aortic valve surgery: the role of valve phenotype in 1362 patients

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Nov;148(5):2072-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.04.007. Epub 2014 Apr 13.


Objective: Decision making regarding the management of the ascending aorta (AA) in patients with a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) undergoing valve surgery has hardly been individualized and remains controversial. We analyzed our individualized, multifactorial approach, focusing on the BAV phenotype.

Methods: In 1362 patients (1044 men) undergoing aortic valve surgery, the BAV phenotypes were intraoperatively classified and retrospectively analyzed. The mean follow-up was 5.4±3.6 years (range, 0-14; 7334 patient-years), and the data were 96.5% complete. The individualized AA management decision process mainly included the AA diameter, age, body surface area, macroscopic AA configuration, and the perceived tissue strength of the aortic wall resulting in 3 AA treatment groups: no intervention, aortoplasty (AoP), and AA replacement (AAR).

Results: In 906 patients (66.5%), no intervention was performed and 172 (12.6%) and 284 (20.9%) underwent AoP and AAR, respectively. The hospital mortality was 1.1% for no intervention, 0.6% for AoP, and 0.4% for AAR (P=.4). The 10-year survival was similar for all 3 groups and comparable to that of the general population. Five reoperations on the AA occurred, 4 in the no intervention and 1 in the AoP group. BAV type 2/unicuspid patients were younger and more had undergone AAR in absolute numbers and after allowing for the AA diameter. Also, in patients with BAV type 1 LR and regurgitation, AAR was performed more often.

Conclusions: The individualized, multifactorial management of AA in patients with BAV during aortic valve surgery leads to excellent results. The threshold AA diameter for intervention (AoP or AAR) varied from 34 to 51 mm (mean, 43.9). BAV type 2/unicuspid and BAV type 1 LR with regurgitation emerged as determinants for more liberal AAR in our practice. Longer term follow-up is necessary to confirm our conclusions.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aortic Aneurysm / diagnosis
  • Aortic Aneurysm / etiology
  • Aortic Aneurysm / mortality
  • Aortic Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Aortic Valve / abnormalities*
  • Aortic Valve / surgery
  • Bicuspid Aortic Valve Disease
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation* / adverse effects
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation* / mortality
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / mortality
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Diseases / complications
  • Heart Valve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Heart Valve Diseases / mortality
  • Heart Valve Diseases / surgery*
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection*
  • Phenotype
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Precision Medicine*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome