Tricuspid Valve Replacement Through Right Thoracotomy has Better Outcomes in Redo Cases

Heart Lung Circ. 2017 Jan;26(1):88-93. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2016.05.118. Epub 2016 Jul 2.


Background: The tricuspid valve is usually ignored and tricuspid interventions are mostly done in the context of other planned cardiac surgery. Isolated tricuspid reoperative procedure, especially tricuspid valve replacement (TVR) is very rare and carries a very high mortality rate. In this prospective study, clinical results of isolated TVR either through a median re-sternotomy or an antero-lateral thoracotomy with conventional cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) have been evaluated.

Methods: Thirty patients with previous open heart surgery through median sternotomy had isolated TVR between 2004 and 2011. Operative approaches were through a median re-sternotomy in 13 patients and a right antero-lateral thoracotomy in 17 patients.

Results: Follow-up period is complete with a mean duration of 19.77±17.08 months. The hospital mortality rates were 46.2% (six patients) in the Median Re-sternotomy Group and 5.9% (one patient) in the Thoracotomy Group (p= 0.025). The surgical procedures lasted shorter and the postoperative drainage amounts were lower in the Thoracotomy Group (298.08±76.64min vs 246.76±47.40min, p= 0.032 and 1787.50±1399.53mL vs 903.33±692.43mL, p= 0.03 respectively). Presence of ascites in the preoperative period (p= 0.007), operative technique (median re-sternotomy) (p= 0.025), use of cross-clamp (p= 0.048), and need for inotropic support during the operation (p= 0.002) were statistically significant factors affecting the hospital mortality. The mean estimated life period was better for the Thoracotomy Group (16.7±5.03 versus 35.9±5.01 months, p= 0.044). Presence of ascites in the preoperative period was a significant risk factor for overall mortality according to Cox regression analysis.

Conclusion: Thoracotomy for TVR in patients with previous median sternotomy is a practical and safe technique with lower mortality rates.

Keywords: Thoracotomy; Tricuspid valve; Tricuspid valve replacement.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sternotomy*
  • Time Factors
  • Tricuspid Valve / surgery*