The Risks and Benefits of Reoperative Aortic Valve Replacement
Background: Many patients are advised to have mechanical aortic valve replacement (AVR) because their expected longevity exceeds that of tissue prostheses. This strategy may avoid the risks of reoperation but exposes patients to the risks of long-term anticoagulation therapy. Which risk is greater?
Methods: We reviewed the records of 1213 consecutive, unselected AVR patients, 60% of whom had concomitant procedures, who were treated from 1994 through 2002. Of these patients, 887 were first-time AVR patients, and 326 underwent reoperation. Of the reoperation patients, 134 had previously undergone AVR (redo). We constructed a risk model from these 1213 cases to assess the factors that predicted mortality and to examine the extent to which reoperation affected outcome.
Results: Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that factors of reoperation and redo operation did not predict mortality. In fact, the mortality rate was 4.1% for all first AVR operations and 3.1% for all reoperation AVR (P = .891). Significant predicting factors (with odds ratios) were reoperative dialysis (6.03), preoperative shock (3.68), New York Heart Association class IV (2.20), female sex (1.76), age (1.61), and cardiopulmonary bypass time (1.26).
Conclusions: In this series, the risk of reoperation AVR is comparable with the published risks of long-term warfarin sodium (Coumadin) administration after mechanical AVR. Any adult who requires AVR may be well advised to consider tissue prostheses.
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