Aortic allograft fibrocalcification and valvular insufficiency have been observed in patients less than 3 years of age at initial replacement of the left ventricular outflow tract. From June 1985 through May 1992, 47 children have undergone aortic root replacement with cryopreserved aortic valve allografts. Thirty-three children were 3 years of age or older and 14 were less than 3 years of age at operation. In the older patient group, there were three (9%) hospital deaths and one child underwent cardiac transplantation 30 hours after aortic root replacement because of left ventricular failure. Clinical follow-up of the 29 surviving older children is from 4 months to 6.6 years (mean 3.0 years). One patient was lost to follow-up. Two children (7%) have required reoperation, but primary allograft degeneration was not observed. In the younger patient group, there were three (21%) hospital deaths. Follow-up ranged from 2.5 months to 4.7 years (mean 2.3 years). Among 11 operative survivors, one late death resulted from a pulmonary embolus. Seven of 10 (70%) remaining allograft recipients had progressive allograft calcification or insufficiency. Six of them have required reoperation to explant the allograft, and one child is currently receiving cyclosporine therapy with the original valve allograft. The cause of allograft failure is possibly immunologic. The prevalence of early aortic valve allograft degeneration has prompted the consideration of nonviable allografts or xenografts, pulmonary autografts, or minimal immunosuppression as alternatives when left ventricular outflow tract reconstruction is necessary in children less than 3 years of age.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine