Minimally invasive aortic valve replacement versus aortic valve replacement through full sternotomy: the Brigham and Women’s Hospital experience
Background: Minimally invasive aortic valve surgery (mini AVR) is a safe and effective treatment option at many hospital centers, but there has not been widespread adoption of the procedure. Critics of mini AVR have called for additional evidence with direct comparison to aortic valve replacement (AVR) via full sternotomy (FS).
Methods: Our mini AVR approach is through a hemi-sternotomy (HS). We performed a propensity-score matched analysis of all patients undergoing isolated AVR via FS or HS at our institution since 2002, resulting in 552 matched pairs. Baseline characteristics were similar. Operative characteristics, transfusion rates, in-hospital outcomes as well as short and long term survival were compared between groups.
Results: Median cardiopulmonary bypass and cross clamp times were shorter in the HS group: 106 minutes [inter-quartile ranges (IQR) 87-135] vs. 124 minutes (IQR 90-169), P≤0.001, and 76 minutes (IQR 63-97) vs. 80 minutes (IQR 62-114), P≤0.005, respectively. HS patients had shorter ventilation times (median 5.7 hours, IQR 3.5-10.3 vs. 6.3 hours, IQR 3.9-11.2, P≤0.022), shorter intensive care unit stay (median 42 hours, IQR 24-71 vs. 45 hours, IQR 24-87, P≤0.039), and shorter hospital length of stay (median 6 days, IQR 5-8 vs. 7 days, IQR 5-10, P≤0.001) compared with the FS group. Intraoperative transfusions were more common in FS group: 27.9% vs. 20.0%, P≤0.003. No differences were seen in short or long term survival, or time to aortic valve re-intervention.
Conclusions: Our study confirms the clinical benefits of minimally invasive AVR via HS, which includes decreased transfusion requirements, ventilation times, intensive care unit and hospital length of stay without compromising short and long term survival compared to conventional AVR via FS.