Unicuspid Aortic Valve Repair Using Geometric Ring Annuloplasty

Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Apr;111(4):1359-1366. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.04.147. Epub 2020 Jun 30.


Background: Unicuspid aortic valves (Sievers type 2 bicuspid) are characterized by major fusion and clefting of the right-left coronary commissure, and minor fusion of the right-noncoronary commissure. Repair has been difficult because of two fusions, variable relative sinus sizes, and peripheral leaflet deficiencies or tears after balloon valvuloplasty.

Methods: Twenty unicuspid aortic valves patients underwent valve repair in nine institutions. Right-left major fusion and right-noncoronary minor fusion occurred in 17 of 20 (85%). Commissurotomy was performed on the minor fusion, and a bicuspid annuloplasty ring with circular base geometry and two 180-degree subcommissural posts was sutured beneath the annulus, equalizing the annular circumferences of the fused and nonfused cusps. The nonfused leaflet was plicated, and the cleft in the major fusion was closed linearly until leaflet effective heights and lengths became greater than 8 mm and equal, respectively.

Results: Average age (mean ± SD) was 22.3 ± 12.3 years (range, 13 to 58), 12 of 20 (60%) were symptomatic, 10 of 20 (50%) required aortic aneurysm resection. Pre-repair hemodynamic data included mean systolic valve gradient 25.8 ± 12.9 mm Hg, aortic insufficiency grade 2.9 ± 1.2, and annular diameter 24.7 ± 3.3 mm. No mortality or major complications occurred. Post-repair annular (ring) size was 20.5 ± 1.3 mm, mean gradient fell to 16.2 ± 5.9 mm Hg, and aortic insufficiency grade decreased to 0.1 ± 0.3 (P < .001). At an average follow-up of 11 months (range, 1 to 22), all 20 patients were asymptomatic and had returned to full activity.

Conclusions: Aortic ring annuloplasty reduced annular diameter effectively, recruiting more leaflet to midline coaptation. Minor fusion commissurotomy and annular remodeling to 180-degree commissures converted UAV repair to a simple and reproducible procedure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aortic Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / diagnosis
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / surgery*
  • Cardiac Valve Annuloplasty / methods
  • Child
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Young Adult