Stroke After Aortic Valve SurgeryCLINICAL PERSPECTIVE
Results From a Prospective Cohort
Background—The incidence and impact of clinical stroke and silent radiographic cerebral infarction complicating open surgical aortic valve replacement (AVR) are poorly characterized.
Methods and Results—We performed a prospective cohort study of subjects ≥65 years of age who were undergoing AVR for calcific aortic stenosis. Subjects were evaluated by neurologists preoperatively and postoperatively and underwent postoperative magnetic resonance imaging. Over a 4-year period, 196 subjects were enrolled at 2 sites (mean age, 75.8±6.2 years; 36% women; 6% nonwhite). Clinical strokes were detected in 17%, transient ischemic attack in 2%, and in-hospital mortality was 5%. The frequency of stroke in the Society for Thoracic Surgery database in this cohort was 7%. Most strokes were mild; the median National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale was 3 (interquartile range, 1–9). Clinical stroke was associated with increased length of stay (median, 12 versus 10 days; P=0.02). Moderate or severe stroke (National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale ≥10) occurred in 8 (4%) and was strongly associated with in-hospital mortality (38% versus 4%; P=0.005). Of the 109 stroke-free subjects with postoperative magnetic resonance imaging, silent infarct was identified in 59 (54%). Silent infarct was not associated with in-hospital mortality or increased length of stay.
Conclusions—Clinical stroke after AVR was more common than reported previously, more than double for this same cohort in the Society for Thoracic Surgery database, and silent cerebral infarctions were detected in more than half of the patients undergoing AVR. Clinical stroke complicating AVR is associated with increased length of stay and mortality.
- Received July 23, 2013.
- Accepted February 21, 2014.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.