Left ventricular systolic function is an important determinant of long-term prognosis in patients with chronic aortic regurgitation. Data from several centers, using invasive and noninvasive assessment of left ventricular function, indicate that long-term postoperative survival is excellent, even in symptomatic patients, if preoperative left ventricular systolic function is normal. The long-term postoperative results are significantly worse in symptomatic patients with preoperative left ventricular systolic dysfunction, many of whom appear to have irreversible left ventricular failure before the onset of symptoms and are at a risk of late postoperative death from congestive heart failure. However, within this high risk subgroup long-term prognosis is excellent for patients, despite left ventricular dysfunction, if preoperative exercise capacity is preserved. In these patients, left ventricular dysfunction is likely to be reversible after operation. Hence, all patients with left ventricular dysfunction at rest should undergo aortic valve replacement, even if severe symptoms and deterioration in exercise tolerance have not developed. Once exercise tolerance becomes limited in such patients, the likelihood of irreversible left ventricular dysfunction is increased, and long-term postoperative survival is threatened.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine