Background. The objective of this study is to assess the clinical and hemodynamic performance of a stentless porcine bioprosthesis, the Freestyle aortic root bioprosthesis. Methods. Consenting patients requiring isolated aortic valve or aortic root replacement received the Freestyle bioprosthesis. Clinical follow-up and echocardiographic data were obtained at discharge, 3 to 6 months, 1 year, and annually thereafter. Results. Two hundred seventy- six patients received a Freestyle aortic root bioprosthesis between January 1993 and July 1997. The mean age was 67.7 years. Preoperatively, 86.3% were either New York Heart Association class III or IV. Two hundred thirty-eight patients underwent valve (subcoronary) replacement, 36 underwent aortic root replacement, and 2 underwent valve replacement using the root-inclusion technique. The early mortality was 5.4%, with 3.3% mortality for the subcoronary technique and 19.4% mortality for aortic root replacement. The mean gradient decreased significantly between discharge and the 3- to 6- month follow-up and stabilized thereafter. The effective orifice area increased significantly from discharge to 3 to 6 months' follow-up. At 3 years, 84.4% of the patients had either no or trivial regurgitation. Conclusions. The Freestyle bioprosthesis has good clinical performance and good short-term hemodynamic performance. The majority of the regurgitation identified is not clinically significant.
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