Background: The aim of this study was to determine whether changes in prognosis and quality of life (QOL) after aortic valve replacement (AVR) in octogenarians differ depending on the choice of mechanical (MP) or tissue (BP) valves. Methods: Between July 1992 and September 2006, 160 consecutive octogenarians underwent AVR with (18.8%) or without concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting. At follow-up (mean 3.4 ± 2.8 years, 552 patient-years, 98.3% complete), 121 were still alive and answered the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) QOL questionnaire. Results: Group BP had 62 patients. Group MP had 98 patients. Preoperative risk factors were comparable except group BP was older. Global hospital mortality was 8.8%. There were 21 late deaths, 61.9% of which were not valve- or anticoagulation-related. A significant difference emerged in 1-, 3-, 5- and 8-year actuarial survival rates (BP: 86.4% ± 0.04%, 76.9% ± 0.06%, 58.1% ± 0.1%, 46.5% ± 0.14%, respectively, vs MP: 91.3% ± 0.03%, 88.6% ± 0.03%, 81.6% ± 0.05%, 70% ± 0.67%; p = 0.025) but not in terms of 8-year freedom from valve-related complications (82.6% ± 0.1% vs 87% ± 0.053%, p = 0.55). One anticoagulant-related hemorrhage occurred in group MP; one stroke occurred in group BP. Survivors had significant improvement in New York Heart Association functional class compared with preoperatively (1.1 vs 2.8, p < 0.001) Mean QOL scores were satisfactory and substantially comparable between the two groups; in seven domains, scores were higher than those of the age- and sex-matched general Italian population. Conclusions: Long-term survival after AVR in selected octogenarians was similar to that of the general elderly population. The device type exerted no influence on QOL. © 2008 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.
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