Impact of pulmonary hypertension on outcomes after aortic valve replacement for aortic valve stenosis

Spencer J. Melby, Marc R. Moon, Brian R. Lindman, Marci S. Bailey, Laureen L. Hill, Ralph J. Damiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Objective: The presence of pulmonary hypertension historically has been considered a significant risk factor affecting early and late outcomes after valve replacement. Given the number of recent advances in the management of pulmonary hypertension after cardiac surgery, a better understanding of its impact on outcomes may assist in the clinical management of these patients. The purpose of this study was to determine whether pulmonary hypertension remains a risk factor in the modern era for adverse outcomes after aortic valve replacement for aortic valve stenosis. Methods: From January 1996 to June 2009, a total of 1080 patients underwent aortic valve replacement for primary aortic valve stenosis, of whom 574 (53%) had normal systolic pulmonary artery pressures (sPAP) and 506 (47%) had pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension was defined as mild (sPAP 35-44 mm Hg), moderate (45-59 mm Hg), or severe (≥ 60 mm Hg). In the group of patients with pulmonary hypertension, 204 had postoperative echocardiograms. Results: Operative mortality was significantly higher in patients with pulmonary hypertension (47/506, 9%, vs 31/574, 5%, P = .02). The incidence of postoperative stroke was similar (P = .14), but patients with pulmonary hypertension had an increased median hospital length of stay (8 vs 7 days, P = .001) and an increased incidence of prolonged ventilation (26% vs 17%, P < .001). Preoperative pulmonary hypertension was an independent risk factor for decreased long-term survival (relative risk 1.7, P = .02). Those with persistent pulmonary hypertension postoperatively had decreased survival. Five-year survival (Kaplan-Meier) was 78% ± 6% with normal sPAP and 77% ± 7% with mild pulmonary hypertension postoperatively, compared with 64% ± 8% with moderate and 45% ± 12% with severe pulmonary hypertension (P < .001). Conclusions: In patients undergoing aortic valve replacement, preoperative pulmonary hypertension increased operative mortality and decreased long-term survival. Patients with persistent moderate or severe pulmonary hypertension after aortic valve replacement had decreased long-term survival. These data suggest that pulmonary hypertension had a significant impact on outcomes in patients undergoing aortic valve replacement and should be considered in preoperative risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1424-1430
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011


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