Echocardiographic and hemodynamic studies were obtained in 42 consecutive patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for isolated aortic stenosis. Concentric left ventricular (LV) wall thickening, the most common preoperative abnormality, occurred in 95% of patients. LV dilatation with reduced fractional shortening was noted in approximately 25% of patients but was severe in only one patient. Six months after operation, LV wall thickness had decreased on average but had not returned to normal and fractional shortening was unchanged. Repeat measurements in 13 patients an average of 37 months after operation were unchanged compared with measurements made 6 months after operation. When patients were subdivided into those with LV dilatation and those without, we found that patients with dilated ventricles preoperatively had a greater decrease in LV internal dimension and mass than those without preoperative dilatation. The patient data also were examined for possible association with mortality. One operative (2%) and five late cardiac (13%) deaths occurred. No preoperative or 6-month postoperative echocardiographic or hemodynamic measurement was strongly associated with these deaths, nor were any late deaths due to congestive heart failure. Compared with preoperative measurements in symptomatic patients who were operated for isolated aortic regurgitation, patients with aortic stenosis had smaller left ventricles with less depression of systolic function, as well as less aortic root and left atrial dilatation. Our data do not support the concept that the aortic valve should be replaced before the onset of symptoms to prevent irreversible LV damage in patients with isolated aortic stenosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)