Background Management of existing aortic insufficiency (AI) and mechanical aortic valves in patients undergoing left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation remains controversial. Surgical options to address these issues include closure, repair or replacement of the valve. Methods Continuous-flow LVAD/biventricular VAD patients entered into the INTERMACS database between June 2006 and December 2012 were included (n = 5,344) in this analysis. Outcomes were compared between patients who underwent aortic valve (AV) closure (n = 125), repair (n = 95) and replacement (n = 85). Results Among patients who underwent an AV procedure, actuarial survival was significantly reduced for AV closures (63.2%) compared with AV repairs (76.8%) and replacements (71.8%) (p = 0.0003). Differences were greater between groups when only INTERMACS Level 1 or 2 patients were analyzed (p = 0.003). After multivariate adjustment, AV closure remained a significant risk factor for mortality (hazard ratio = 1.87, 95% confidence interval 1.39 to 2.53, p < 0.0001). At 6 to 12 months post-operatively, moderate to severe AI developed in 19%, 5%, 9% and 10% of patients with available echocardiography who underwent repair, closure, replacement and no intervention, respectively (p < 0.0001). Competing outcomes demonstrate that, at 1-year, fewer patients with AV closures were transplanted compared with patients with repairs/replacements (14% vs 19%). No differences were observed between groups with respect to cause of death, re-hospitalization, right heart failure or stroke. Conclusions AV closure was associated with increased mortality when compared with repair or replacement in patients with AI who underwent LVAD insertion. The reasons for this association require further investigation. This is the largest study to date to examine concomitant AV procedures in patients undergoing LVAD insertion.
- aortic valve
- aortic valve closure
- aortic valve repair
- aortic valve replacement
- left ventricular assist device