Stentless aortic valve replacement: an update
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center, Osaka, Japan
Abstract: Although porcine aortic valves or pericardial tissue mounted on a stent have made implantation techniques easier, these valves sacrifice orifice area and increase stress at the attachment of the stent, which causes primary tissue failure. Optimizing hemodynamics to prevent patient–prosthetic mismatch and improve durability, stentless bioprostheses use was revived in the early 1990s. The purpose of this review is to provide a current overview of stentless valves in the aortic position. Retrospective and prospective randomized controlled studies showed similar operative mortality and morbidity in stented and stentless aortic valve replacement (AVR), though stentless AVR required longer cross-clamp and cardiopulmonary bypass time. Several cohort studies showed improved survival after stentless AVR, probably due to better hemodynamic performance and earlier left ventricular (LV) mass regression compared with stented AVR. However, there was a bias of operation age and nonrandomization. A randomized trial supported an improved 8-year survival of patients with the Freestyle or Toronto valves compared with Carpentier–Edwards porcine valves. On the contrary, another randomized study did not show improved clinical outcomes up to 12 years. Freedom from reoperation at 12 years in Toronto stentless porcine valves ranged from 69% to 75%, which is much lower than for Carpentier–Edwards Perimount valves. Cusp tear with consequent aortic regurgitation was the most common cause of structural valve deterioration. Cryolife O'Brien valves also have shorter durability compared with stent valves. Actuarial freedom from reoperation was 44% at 10 years. Early prosthetic valve failure was also reported in patients who underwent root replacement with Shelhigh stentless composite grafts. There was no level I or IIa evidence of more effective orifice area, mean pressure gradient, LV mass regression, surgical risk, durability, and late outcomes in stentless bioprostheses. There is no general recommendation to prefer stentless bioprostheses in all patients. For new-generation pericardial stentless valves, follow-up over 15 years is necessary to compare the excellent results of stented valves such as the Carpentier–Edwards Perimount and Hancock II valves.
Keywords: cardiopulmonary bypass, valves, heart disease, surgery, follow-up studies
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