Comparison of the Structure of the Aortic Valve and Ascending Aorta in Adults Having Aortic Valve Replacement for Aortic Stenosis Versus for Pure Aortic Regurgitation and Resection of the Ascending Aorta for Aneurysm
Background There is debate concerning whether an aneurysmal ascending aorta should be replaced when associated with a dysfunctioning aortic valve that is to be replaced. To examine this issue, we divided the patients by type of aortic valve dysfunction—either aortic stenosis (AS) or pure aortic regurgitation (AR)—something not previously undertaken.
Methods and Results Of 122 patients with ascending aortic aneurysm (unassociated with aortitis or acute dissection), the aortic valve was congenitally malformed (unicuspid or bicuspid) in 58 (98%) of the 59 AS patients, and in 38 (60%) of the 63 pure AR patients. Ascending aortic medial elastic fiber loss (EFL) (graded 0 to 4+) was zero or 1+ in 53 (90%) of the AS patients, in 20 (53%) of the 38 AR patients with bicuspid valves, and in all 12 AR patients with tricuspid valves unassociated with the Marfan syndrome. An unadjusted analysis showed that, among the 96 patients with congenitally malformed valves, the 38 AR patients had a significantly higher likelihood of 2+ to 4+ EFL than the 58 AS patients (crude odds ratio: 8.78; 95% confidence interval: 2.95, 28.13).
Conclusions These data strongly suggest that the type of aortic valve dysfunction—AS versus pure AR—is very helpful in predicting loss of aortic medial elastic fibers in patients with ascending aortic aneurysms and aortic valve disease.
- aortic surgery
- aortic valve regurgitation
- aortic valve replacement
- aortic valve stenosis
- bicuspid aortic valve
- Received June 15, 2010.
- Accepted December 27, 2010.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.