Operative treatment of dissections of the ascending aorta differs from that for the descending aorta, not only because of the need for cardiopulmonary bypass, but also because of the frequent occurrence of aortic valve insufficiency. To determine the early and late results of operative repair, we have reviewed the case histories of 121 consecutive patients who underwent repair of ascending aortic dissections between 1962 and 1985. Ages ranged from 16 to 79 years (mean 56 ± 14 years); 54 patients had operation within 2 weeks of onset of symptoms (acute), and the remainder had later repair (chronic). Seventy patients (58%) had clinical evidence of aortic insufficiency at the time of admission. During repair of acute dissection, 10 patients (19%) had aortic valve resuspension and 15 patients (28%) had aortic valve replacement. During repair of chronic dissection, eight patients (12%) had resuspension and 43 patients (64%) had replacement. Overall operative mortality was 22%, significantly higher for patients with acute than for those with chronic dissections (39% versus 9%, p < 0.01). Operative risk was similar for patients who underwent repair of ascending aortic dissections without valve resuspension or replacement (31%) versus those who had repair with aortic valve resuspension (17%) or replacement (17%). During a follow-up period ranging from 1 to 208 months, aortic regurgitation developed in only two patients who did not have aortic insufficiency at the time of repair. Late aortic regurgitation necessitating reoperation developed in one of the 15 survivors who had aortic valve resuspension. Eight patients undergoing aortic valve replacement had complications of their prostheses, including one periprosthetic leak and four mechanical failures. We conclude that resuspension or replacement of the aortic valve does not increase the risk of repair of ascending aortic dissections. Selective management of aortic insufficiency (with valve repair whenever possible) yields satisfactory long-term results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine