Long-term safety and effectiveness of mechanical versus biologic aortic valve prostheses in older patients: results from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery National Database.

Journal Article


There is a paucity of long-term data comparing biological versus mechanical aortic valve prostheses in older individuals.

Methods and results

We performed follow-up of patients aged 65 to 80 years undergoing aortic valve replacement with a biological (n=24 410) or mechanical (n=14 789) prosthesis from 1991 to 1999 at 605 centers within the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Adult Cardiac Surgery Database using Medicare inpatient claims (mean, 12.6 years; maximum, 17 years; minimum, 8 years), and outcomes were compared by propensity methods. Among Medicare-linked patients undergoing aortic valve replacement (mean age, 73 years), both reoperation (4.0%) and endocarditis (1.9%) were uncommon to 12 years; however, the risk for other adverse outcomes was high, including death (66.5%), stroke (14.1%), and bleeding (17.9%). Compared with those receiving a mechanical valve, patients given a bioprosthesis had a similar adjusted risk for death (hazard ratio, 1.04; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-1.07), higher risks for reoperation (hazard ratio, 2.55; 95% confidence interval, 2.14-3.03) and endocarditis (hazard ratio, 1.60; 95% confidence interval, 1.31-1.94), and lower risks for stroke (hazard ratio, 0.87; 95% confidence interval, 0.82-0.93) and bleeding (hazard ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.62-0.70). Although these results were generally consistent among patient subgroups, bioprosthesis patients aged 65 to 69 years had a substantially elevated 12-year absolute risk of reoperation (10.5%).


Among patients undergoing aortic valve replacement, long-term mortality rates were similar for those who received bioprosthetic versus mechanical valves. Bioprostheses were associated with a higher long-term risk of reoperation and endocarditis but a lower risk of stroke and hemorrhage. These risks varied as a function of a patient's age and comorbidities.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Brennan, JM; Edwards, FH; Zhao, Y; O'Brien, S; Booth, ME; Dokholyan, RS; Douglas, PS; Peterson, ED; DEcIDE AVR (Developing Evidence to Inform Decisions about Effectiveness–Aortic Valve Replacement) Research Team,

Published Date

  • April 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 127 / 16

Start / End Page

  • 1647 - 1655

PubMed ID

  • 23538379

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23538379

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1524-4539

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0009-7322

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/circulationaha.113.002003


  • eng