Anatomical definition of aortic root abscesses by transesophageal echocardiography: planning a surgical strategy using homograft valves.
Brecker SJ., Jin XY., Yacoub MH.
Infective endocarditis of the native or a prosthetic aortic valve may be complicated by abscess cavity development in the aortic root, and successful treatment depends upon early diagnosis, clear anatomical definition preoperatively, and maintaining sterility of the second implant. Homograft valves offer many advantages in this setting. Timing of surgery and the choice of the particular technique depends on accurate characterization of the anatomical details of the abscess. Five cases of paravalvular aortic root abscess in the setting of prosthetic valve endocarditis are described. In each case the diagnosis was made with transesophageal echocardiography, and the information was used in planning the operative procedure of homograft valve replacement. This strategy is proposed as optimal management of this potentially lethal condition.