Central Surgical Association| Volume 114, ISSUE 4, P794-798, October 1993

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Early experience with homograft aortic root replacement for complex aortic pathology

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      Background. Complex aortic valve and root pathology presents a serious operative challenge.
      Methods. During the last 45 months 21 cryopreserved homograft root replacements have been performed in 19 patients. The ages of the patients ranged from 28 to 77 years; there were 15 men and four women. Six patients had endocarditis, four prosthetic and two native valve endocarditis. One patient underwent homograft aortic root replacement twice; one underwent concomitant homograft right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction for pulmonic endocarditis. Causes of aortic pathology in the other 13 patients included ascending aortic aneurysm with valvular regurgitation in seven, Marfan syndrome in two, and four aortic dissections with aortic regurgitation. Ten of the nineteen patients were undergoing reoperative procedures.
      Results. There were three hospital deaths and one death at home of unknown cause. Two of the three patients who died in hospital had undergone redo cardiac procedures. Dramatic functional class improvement was seen in all survivors.
      Conclusions. Follow-up from 2 to 45 months in the fifteen survivors revealed no clinical or significant echocardiographic evidence of valvular regurgitation or recurrent infection. We believe homograft root replacement provides an excellent method of reconstruction with several advantages unique to human valved conduits, including ease of handling, lack of synthetic nidus for recurrent infection, and absence of thrombogenic materials. Homografts should be considered the approach of choice in complex valvular and root infectious processes.
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