Management of Small Aortic Root during Aortic Valve Replacement
Background: Concomitant aortic root enlargement (ARE) increases the risk of aortic valve replacement (AVR). The objectives of this study were to identify the patients who needed aortic root enlargement and compare the outcomes and the risk of adding ARE to AVR.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 62 patients who underwent isolated mechanical aortic valve replacement between 2017 and 2019. We divided the patients into two groups: group A included patients with small aortic root who had AVR with one of the different surgical strategies for small aortic annulus (n= 32) and group B, which included patients with a normal aortic annulus and underwent conventional AVR (n= 30). Group A was further sub-divided based on the surgical strategy into 4 categories; patients who had supra-annular implantation of size 19 mm St. Jude prosthetic valve (n= 11; 34.4%), Nicks procedure (n= 13 40.6%), Manougian procedure (n= 4; 12.5%), Konno procedure (n= 4; 12.5%).
Results: Group A patients were significantly younger (26.16 ± 11.49 vs. 34.63 ± 8.9 years; p< 0.001) and had lower body weight (55.09 ± 21.41 vs. 69.80 ± 19.20; p= 0.01). Group A had significantly smaller valves (p = 0.03), and total cardiopulmonary bypass (148.65 ± 44.09 vs. 97.46 ± 20.90 minutes; p<0.001) and aortic cross-clamp times (118.13 ± 36.70 vs. 78.06 ± 16.01 minutes; p < 0.001) were significantly longer in group A. There was no significant difference in operative complications between groups. Among patients with small aortic root; Konno procedure had the longest bypass time (236.3 ± 19.70 minutes; p<0.001); cross-clamp time (192.5 ± 22.2 minutes; p <0.001); mechanical ventilation (4.75 ± 0.50 hours; p<0.001) and intensive care unit stay (6.50 ± 0.57 days; p <0.001). Patients with supra-annular implantation of the St. Jude valve had a significantly higher postoperative pressure gradient (14.64 ± 6.84 mmHg; p= 0.02). No difference in procedure complications was observed among aortic root enlargement procedures.
Conclusion: Patients who had aortic root enlargement procedure were younger, with lower weight and body surface area. Surgical procedures used to manage small aortic root had comparable early results, and no technique was superior to the others.