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OBJECTIVE: Atheromatous ascending aortic aneurysms (AAA) frequently present with aortic regurgitation (AR) from dilatation of the sino-tubular junction (STJ) and extension of the pathological process into the root. Experience suggests that root dilatation begins in the non-coronary, then right coronary sinus. Rather than employ aortic root replacement or the David procedure, we have elected to replace the ascending aorta and remodel the STJ and involved sinuses. We studied the outcome after selective sinus replacement in 29 consecutive AAA patients between 1995 and 2001. METHODS: There were nine male and 20 females. Age ranged from 47 to 79 years (mean 67.5). Seven had arch aneurysms and four coronary artery disease. Nineteen were NYHA III or IV. Grade of AR was IV in 20, III in five and II in four. The STJ was dilated >50% of annulus diameter in each case (5.3-10.0 cm, mean 6.4 cm). All valves had three cusps. All patients underwent ascending aortic replacement. Seven had arch replacement and four coronary artery bypass. Seven had replacement of both right and non-coronary sinuses with re-implantation of the right coronary ostium. Twelve had replacement of the non-coronary sinus alone whilst nine had right coronary sinus replacement. One with dextrocardia had left coronary sinus replacement with ostial re-implantation. The graft size was within 2 mm of annulus size except for two patients (24 mm 12, 26 mm 11, and 28 mm six). Post operative echocardiographic studies were performed. None of the patients received anticoagulation. RESULTS: There were no hospital or late deaths and no thromboembolic or infective complications. Two patients had mild to moderate aortic regurgitation. These had a size 28 graft, which in retrospect was too large. Others had no significant regurgitation. CONCLUSIONS: The native aortic valve can be preserved in the majority of patients with AAA. Remodelling of the STJ and selective sinus replacement restores valve competence. Anticoagulation and prosthesis related complications are thereby avoided.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cardiothorac Surg

Publication Date





459 - 464


Aged, Aorta, Aortic Aneurysm, Aortic Valve Insufficiency, Arteriosclerosis, Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation, Female, Humans, Male