Efficacy and durability of central oversewing for treatment of aortic insufficiency in patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices
Background Aortic insufficiency (AI) in patients supported with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVAD) results in regurgitant volume returning from the aorta to the left ventricle, increased LVAD pump volume and reduced systemic cardiac output. One common strategy to address AI during CF-LVAD support is central oversewing of the aortic valve, which allows some opening between the valve leaflets laterally. However, the long-term durability of this technique has not been extensively described. Methods All patients who underwent central oversewing of the aortic valve during CF-LVAD support between January 2006 and March 2013 were included in this analysis. Pre- and post-procedure intra-operative transesophageal echocardiograms (TEEs) were reviewed to determine the efficacy of the surgical technique, whereas all subsequent transthoracic echocardiograms (TTEs) were reviewed to assess durability. AI severity was graded using the vena contracta (VC) width and the ratio between the VC and left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) diameter. Results Nineteen patients with central aortic valve oversewing were identified. Median follow-up was 560 days (range 46 to 954 days). All but 1 patient had their aortic insufficiency reduced to "none/trace" on post-operative TEE. There was no statistically significant increase in the VC width and VC/LVOT ratio between the first and last follow-up echocardiograms, and only 2 patients developed more than mild aortic insufficiency after central oversewing. Central oversewing of the aortic valve did not adversely affect outcomes after LVAD implantation. Conclusion Central oversewing of the aortic valve is an effective and durable means of addressing greater than mild AI in patients with CF-LVAD. © 2014 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation.
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