Composite graft replacement of the ascending aorta and aortic valve. Late follow-up with intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1988 May;95(5):924-8.


Between 1979 and 1986, 30 patients underwent replacement of the aortic valve and ascending aorta by a composite graft, with aortic wrapping of the graft. Thirteen patients had annuloaortic ectasia; six had DeBakey type I dissection (five acute, one chronic); three had DeBakey type II dissection (one acute, two chronic); three had left ventricular-aortic discontinuity caused by prosthetic valve endocarditis; three had sinus of Valsalva aneurysms after previous aortic valve procedures; and two had atherosclerotic aneurysms. Three patients died (10%). The mean duration of follow-up was 54 months. Fifteen patients consented to be restudied by intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography; studies were performed 6 to 58 months (mean 25 months) after composite graft replacement. Two patients had pseudoaneurysms at the right coronary anastomosis, which were repaired successfully. One patient showed persistent dissection beyond the distal aortic anastomosis; no reoperation has been done. One patient had pulmonary edema. Emergency study and reoperation showed disruption of the proximal aortic anastomosis and right coronary anastomosis. Anastomotic dehiscence after composite graft replacement is potentially lethal. Follow-up by means of intra-arterial digital subtraction angiography is simple and highly accurate. We suggest that dehiscences may occur early in the postoperative period and that restudy may be appropriate within a few months after operation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Angiography / methods
  • Aorta
  • Aortic Aneurysm / surgery*
  • Aortic Valve
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency / surgery*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radiographic Image Enhancement
  • Subtraction Technique
  • Time Factors