Article Abstract

Echocardiography of the aortic root: a practical approach for aortic valve-sparing surgery

Guillaume Lemaire, David Vancraeynest


Owing to its excellent long-term results, aortic valve-sparing surgery is increasingly used in patients with aortic regurgitation and/or ascending aortic aneurysm. Moreover, in patients with a bicuspid valve who meet the criteria for replacement of the aortic sinuses or aortic regurgitation surgery, valve-sparing surgery may be considered if performed at a comprehensive valve center (Class 2b indication in both the American and European guidelines). Reconstructive valve surgery aims at restoring a normal aortic valve function and a normal aortic root shape as well. Echocardiography plays a central role in defining abnormal valve morphologies, in quantifying aortic regurgitation and mechanisms, and in appreciating tissue valve quality and surgical results. Therefore, despite the emergence of other tomographic techniques, 2D and 3D echocardiography represents the cornerstone for patient selection and prediction of the probability of a reliable repair. The present review focuses on echocardiographic evaluation to detect aortic valve and aortic root abnormalities, to quantify aortic valve regurgitation, to predict aortic valve reparability, and to assess immediate postoperative results in the operating room. Echocardiographic predictors of successful valve and root repair are presented in a practical way.


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