The outcome of aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis is worse in patients with impaired left ventricular function. Such dysfunction in aortic stenosis may be reversible if caused by afterload mismatch, but not if it is caused by superimposed myocardial infarction.
From our echocardiography database, 55 patients with severe aortic stenosis (valve area ≤0.75 cm2) and ejection fractions of 30% or lower who subsequently underwent aortic valve replacement were included. The operative mortality and clinical follow-up were detailed.
There were 10 perioperative deaths (operative mortality, 18%). Twenty (36%) of the 55 patients had a prior myocardial infarction. In the 35 patients without prior myocardial infarction, there was only 1 death (3%). In contrast, 9 of 20 patients with prior myocardial infarction died (mortality rate, 45%; P≤.001). The factors significantly associated with perioperative death on univariate analysis (functional class, mean aortic gradient, and prior myocardial infarction) were entered into a model for stepwise logistic regression. This multivariate analysis showed that only prior myocardial infarction was independently associated with perioperative death (odds ratio, 14.9; 95% confidence interval, 2.4-92.1; P=.004).
The risk of aortic valve replacement in patients with severe aortic stenosis and severely reduced left ventricular systolic function is extremely high if the patients have had a prior myocardial infarction. This information should be factored into the risk-benefit analysis that is done preoperatively for these patients, and it may preclude operation for some.