Balloon dilatation of calcific aortic stenosis in elderly patients: postmortem, intraoperative, and percutaneous valvuloplasty studies.
To assess the safety and efficacy of percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty in calcific aortic stenosis, balloon dilatation of critically stenosed, calcified aortic valves was performed in five postmortem hearts, in five patients intraoperatively before aortic valve replacement, and in two elderly patients percutaneously at the time of diagnostic catheterization. The etiology of aortic stenosis in the 12 cases was rheumatic in two, congenital bicuspid calcific stenosis in one, and senile calcific degenerative stenosis in the remaining nine. Prevalvuloplasty examination in the 10 postmortem and intraoperative cases revealed rigid valve leaflets with commissural fusion in three valves and extensive nodular calcification in seven. Subsequent balloon dilatation with 15 to 18 mm valvuloplasty balloons resulted in decreased cusp rigidity and increased mobility of valve leaflets in all cases, without evidence of tearing of valve leaflets, disruption of the valvular ring, or liberation of calcific or valvular debris. In the three valve specimens with commissural fusion, balloon dilatation resulted in partial or complete separation of leaflets along fused commissures. In two cases with extensive nodular calcification, balloon dilatation resulted in a fracture of a calcified leaflet that was evident on both gross and radiologic examination. After postmortem and intraoperative studies, percutaneous catheter valvuloplasty was performed at the time of diagnostic catheterization in two elderly patients (93- and 85-year-old women) with long-standing calcific aortic stenosis. Balloon dilatation with 12 to 18 mm balloons resulted in significant decreases in aortic gradients and significant increases in cardiac index and aortic valve area in both patients. Percutaneous valvuloplasty in both patients resulted in a mild increase in aortic insufficiency and no evidence of embolic phenomena.
- Copyright © 1986 by American Heart Association