Left ventricular remodelling and improvement in Freestyle stentless valve haemodynamics.
Jin XY., Westaby S., Gibson DG., Pillai R., Taggart DP.
OBJECTIVE: To assess how left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy, geometry and function change after stentless aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis, and to elucidate the physiological mechanism of the improvement in stentless valve haemodynamics. METHODS: 81 patients with aortic stenosis (age 75 +/- 6 years, 47 male) underwent aortic valve replacement (plus CABG in 33 patients) with a Freestyle stentless porcine valve (mean size 23 +/- 2 mm). They were prospectively investigated by Doppler echocardiography at 2 weeks, 3-6, 12, and 24 months after operation. Two hundred and forty-six echocardiograms were obtained and analysed. Aortic valve performance was assessed from its effective orifice area (EOA), the transvalvular increase in mean flow velocity (delta mV), the deceleration time of aortic flow velocity, and mean pressure drop (mPG). LV hypertrophy was assessed from LV mass index; LV geometry, from the ratio of wall thickness to the radius (T/R ratio) and LV function, from stroke volume index (LVSVI) and myocardial stroke work (SW). RESULTS: By 2 years after operation, LV mass index had fallen from 162 +/- 64 to 109 +/- 36, g/m2, and T/R ratio from 0.61 +/- 0.25 to 0.43 +/- 0.10. LVSVI increased from 29.4 +/- 10 to 42 +/- 17, ml/m2, and myocardial SW from 3.1 +/- 1.6 to 5.2 +/- 2.2, mJ/cm3 (all P < 0.001 by ANOVA), while LV outflow tract diameter remained unchanged. At the same time, stentless valve EOA increased from 1.59 +/- 0.75 to 2.2 +/- 0.72, cm2, and delta mV (from 82 +/- 31 to 49 +/- 24, cm/s) and mPG (from 9.7 +/- 5.0 to 5.2 +/- 3.7 mmHg) both fell significantly (all P < 0.001 by ANOVA): as the deceleration time of aortic flow velocity increased from 153.6 +/- 64.1 to 202.7 +/- 37.6 ms (P < 0.001 by ANOVA). CONCLUSION: After stentless aortic valve replacement, LV mass index and wall thickness both fall towards normal, and myocardial stroke work increases. These ventricular remodelling processes are accompanied by a more physiological flow jet at valve cusp level, which permits a greater stroke volume to be ejected with a smaller transvavular velocity increase, so that effective orifice area increases.