n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - How to approach aortic valve disease in the elderly : a 25-year retrospective study : cardiovascular topic




In the last decade, the number of elderly patients suffering from aortic valve disease has significantly increased. This study aimed to identify possible factors that could affect surgical and long-term outcomes in the light of a literature review regarding the management of aortic valve disease in the elderly.

Between January 1990 and December 2012, a total of 114 patients (64 males, 50 females; mean age 76.6 ± 3.6 years; range 70-87 years) with aortic valve replacement (AVR) alone, or combined with coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) or mitral surgery in our hospital, were retrospectively analysed.
In-hospital mortality was seen in 19 patients. The major causes of in-hospital mortality were low-cardiac output syndrome in eight patients (42.1%), respiratory insufficiency or infection in six (31.5%), multi-organ failure in four (21%), and stroke in one patient (5.2%). The main postoperative complications included arrhythmia in 26 patients (22.8%), renal failure in 11 (9.6%), respiratory infection in nine (7.9%), and stroke in three patients (2.6%). The mean length of intensive care unit and hospital stays were 6.4 ± 4.3 and 18 ± 12.8 days, respectively. During follow up, late mortality was seen in 28 patients (29.4%). Possible risk factors for long-term mortality were type of prosthesis, EuroSCORE ≥ 15, postoperative pacemaker implantation, respiratory infection, and haemodialysis. Among 65 long-term survivors, their activity level was good in 53 (81.5%) and poor in two.
Our study results demonstrated that an individually tailored approach including scheduled surgery increases short- and long-term outcomes of AVR in patients aged ≥ 70 years. In addition, shorter cardiopulmonary bypass time may be more beneficial in this high-risk patient population.


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