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A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery

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The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 1999 June;40(3):343-6

language: English

Bjork-Shiley convexo-concave valve: is a prophylactic re-replacement justified?

Actis Dato G. M., Centofanti P., Actis Dato A. Jr. *, Aidala E., Punta G., Poletti G., Di Summa M.

From the Division of Cardiac Surgery University of Turin, Italy
* Italian Institution of Cardiac Surgery, Turin, Italy


Background. The Bjork-Shiley convexo-concave (BS-CC) heart valves represent the improved model of the standard valve first introduced with a different design of the disc valve to ameliorate hemodynamic performances and reduce thromboembolic complications. About 86,000 BS-CC were implanted during 1979-1986 and of them a small number developed an intrinsic dysfunction resulting in sudden death.
Methods. From 1979 to 1986 we implanted in 117 patients (48 males, 69 females, mean age 46.35±12.47, range 8-65 years) 125 BS-CC. In 38.5% (45/117) of the cases heart valve replacement represented the second cardiac procedure after a previous closed heart digital commissurotomy. The mean size of the implanted prosthesis was 25.6±2.8 for aortic valve and 29.5±1.2 for mitral valve.
Results. Hospital mortality was 4.27% (5/117) and survival rate at 10 years is 71.4% and at 17 years 54.7% (Kaplan-Meier). At follow-up causes of death proved valve related in most of the patients but with no evidence of valve fracture. We had 1 case of sudden death in patients at high risk (largest size, aortic position) and 30 cases of death by unknown causes but they did not have an autopsy to confirm the cause of death.
Conclusions. We conclude that in our population with BS-CC at the moment there is no indication for prophylactic replacement because of the higher risks of a reoperation (third or fourth in the 35.4% of our patients) than a strut fracture. Nevertheless we believe an autopsy mandatory in all these patients at risk, when sudden death occurs.

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