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Current controversies in aortic valve-preserving surgery

  • Takashi Kunihara
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Department of Cardiac Surgery, The Jikei University School of Medicine, 3-25-8 Nishishinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8461, Japan.
    Affiliations
    Department of Cardiac Surgery, The Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan
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Published:October 28, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jjcc.2022.10.006

      Highlights

      • Surgery has survival benefit of severe aortic regurgitation over medical therapy.
      • The current guidelines recommend earlier surgical intervention.
      • Aortic valvuloplasty is an attractive option to avoid the drawbacks of prosthetic valves.
      • Due to recent advances, aortic valvuloplasty shows superior results to replacement surgery.
      • Aortic valvuloplasty can be indicated for bicuspid, Marfan, acute aortic dissection cases.

      Abstract

      The clinical outcome of severe aortic regurgitation (AR) remains suboptimal, but surgery has been shown to have survival benefit over medical therapy. Postoperative survival is inferior in patients with reduced left ventricular function, and therefore early surgical intervention is recommended. Aortic valvuloplasty (AVP) is an attractive option to avoid the major drawbacks of prosthetic valves but has not been widely adopted.
      The etiology of AR is classified functionally into three groups: normal leaflet motion (type I), cusp prolapse (type II), and restriction (type III). Type I with dilatation of the sinus of Valsalva (type Ib) can be repaired by aortic valve reimplantation or aortic root remodeling with similar valve stability. Type I with dilatation of the aortic annulus (type Ic) can be managed by annuloplasty. Type II can be corrected by plication or resuspension techniques. Pericardial patch is necessary in AVP for type Id (perforation/fenestration) and type III but is associated with risk of recurrence.
      Bicuspid aortic valve is classified according to commissure angle: symmetrical, asymmetrical, and very asymmetrical. Tricuspidization is recommended for repair of very asymmetrical valves to avoid postoperative stenosis. Recent progress has achieved similar reoperation rates between bicuspid and tricuspid aortic valve repair.
      For Marfan syndrome, valve-sparing root replacement is advantageous compared to Bentall operation regarding late survival, thromboembolic and hemorrhagic events, and endocarditis. Similar findings have been reported in acute aortic dissection. Both remodeling and reimplantation procedures provide similar favorable outcomes in these settings.
      Recent advances in AVP are summarized by quantitative assessment of cusp configuration (effective height and geometric height), graft size decision, use of template to cut the graft, and videoscopic assessment of post-repair cusp configuration.
      Due to these advances, AVP shows superior results to replacement surgery. Further concrete evidence with larger case volumes and longer observation periods are necessary to popularize AVP.

      Graphical abstract

      Keywords

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