Feasibility of sutureless valve implantation in reoperation for degenerated 19 mm aortic valvular bioprostheses

Vola M, Campisi S, Anselmi A, Vaislic C, Fuzellier JF.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) is a promising option to treat degenerated aortic valve bioprostheses, and may involve Valve-in-Valve (ViV) procedures. Unfortunately, the ViV technique may provide an inadequate relief of stenosis in small-diameter degenerated bioprostheses, especially in the 19 mm valve subgroup. The study aim was to determine the feasibility and reliability of reoperating 19 mm degenerated bioprostheses, using a minimally invasive sutureless valve implantation.

Between March and December 2012, three reoperative procedures for degenerated 19 mm conventional aortic bioprostheses were performed at the authors’ unit. Stenosis was the main modality of structural deterioration. A partial upper ministernotomy approach was used, whereby part of the sewing ring of the previous bioprosthesis was left in place and a 19 mm Medtronic Enable sutureless valve was implanted in all cases.

The average valve implantation time was 10.3 min. There were no cases of operative mortality or major morbidity. One permanent pacemaker was required. At discharge, transthoracic echocardiography showed no paravalvular leakages; the average transvalvular gradient was 16 mmHg. The one-year follow up showed no paravalvular leakages and unchanged gradients.

The use of a surgical sutureless valve after explanting a 19 mm degenerated bioprosthesis is feasible and effective for relieving stenosis However, larger series are needed to confirm these preliminary results.