Evaluation and management of aortic valve and root disease


DOI: 10.1007/s11936-007-0041-2

Cite this article as:
de Graft-Johnson, J.B. & Gleason, T.G. Curr Treat Options Cardio Med (2007) 9: 465. doi:10.1007/s11936-007-0041-2

Opinion statement

Aortic valve disease manifests in the form of stenosis, regurgitation, or some combination, yielding either excessive afterload and/or excessive preload on the left ventricle. Aortic root disease may affect valvular function, causing regurgitation; may simply be coexistent with stenotic aortic valvular disease; or may exist despite normal aortic valve function. Indications for intervening on aortic valve or root disease are determined by the presence of symptoms, by the pathology’s impact on left ventricular function, or by the inherent risk of aortic catastrophe (dissection, disruption, or sudden death). Aortic valvular and root diseases are primarily treated by surgical replacement of the pathologic structures. Mechanical aortic valve replacement has long-term durability but requires continuous anticoagulation. Bioprostheses do not require anticoagulation but have more limited durability. Valve-sparing aortic root replacement and aortic valve repair offer the potential for indefinite durability without the need for anticoagulation but are technically more difficult to perform and require more stringent selection criteria based on determining the reparability of an aortic valve. Emerging percutaneous valve technologies offer new hope for patients who are not candidates for aortic valve surgery, but the applicability and durability of percutaneous aortic valves are not yet known. Timely and appropriate intervention in aortic valve and root disease can result in the restoration of a normal life span for patients with aortic valvular and/or root disease.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery InstituteUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA