Aortic valve replacement in patients aged eighty years and older: early and long-term results

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1996 May;111(5):1026-36. doi: 10.1016/s0022-5223(96)70379-3.


We have studied 322 patients, 80 years of age or older, who underwent aortic valve replacement between June 1971 and December 1992. Two hundred six patients (64%) have had surgery since the end of 1985. Their mean age was 82.7 years (range 80 to 92 years). One hundred seventy-one (53%) were male and most (86%) were in New York Heart Association class III-IV. Fifty-seven patients (18%) required admission to the coronary care unit before the operation. One hundred seventy-nine patients (56%) underwent an urgent or emergency operation. Known cerebrovascular disease was present in 77 (24% of patients), aortic stenosis in 79%, aortic incompetence in 9%, and combined stenosis and incompetence in 12%. Associated procedures included bypass grafting in 139 (43%), mitral valve replacement/repair in 20 (6%), tricuspid valve repair in 6 (2%), and aortic annular enlargement in 38 (12%). Thirty patients (9.3%) were undergoing reoperation. Hospital mortality was 44 of 322 (13.7%). The median hospital stay was 11 days. On univariate analysis, significant predictors of hospital mortality were female sex, preoperative rest pain, New York Heart Association class III-IV, admission to the coronary care unit, heart failure, mitral valve disease, emergency/urgent operation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bypass grafting, valve size, peripheral vascular disease, and ejection fraction less than 0.35. On multivariate analysis the most important independent predictors of operative mortality were female gender (p = 0.0001), renal impairment (p = 0.001), bypass grafting (p = 0.005), ejection fraction less than 0.35 (p = 0.01), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p = 0.028). Age and year of operation did not influence mortality. Five-year survivals for all patients and for operative survivors were 60.2% +/- 3.2% and 70.3% +/- 3.4%, respectively. On univariate analysis, factors that adversely affected long-term survival were coronary bypass grafting (p = 0.007), more than two comorbidities (p = 0.02), male gender (p = 0.04), and ejection fraction less than 0.35 (p = 0.04). On multivariate analysis, no factor was consistently significant for long-term survival. At most recent clinical follow-up 85% were angina free and 82% were in class I-II. At least 92% of patients, both at 1 year and at most recent clinical follow-up, believed they had significantly benefited from the operation:

Conclusion: Risk factors for aortic valve replacement in octogenarians include female gender, unstable symptoms, poor ejection fraction, renal impairment, and bypass grafting. However, despite a hospital mortality higher than that reported for younger patients, the outlook for operative survivors is excellent, with good relief of symptoms and an expected survival normal for this particular age group. If possible, aortic valve replacement should be done before development of unstable symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Valve / surgery*
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis / mortality*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome