Aortic valve repair for isolated right coronary leaflet prolapse

Arnar Geirsson, Clarence H. Owen, Robert S. Binford, Rochus K. Voeller, Christopher R. Burke, Jeffrey D. McNeil, Lawrence M. Wei, Vinay Badhwar, J. Scott Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Isolated right coronary leaflet prolapse is a common cause of nonaneurysmal aortic insufficiency, but can rarely occur in patients with proximal aortic aneurysms. Standardized techniques for routine autologous repair of this disorder are presented. Methods: Most aortic valve leaflet prolapse is isolated to the right coronary leaflet, with hypertension and annular dilatation being contributory. Echocardiographically, a posteriorly eccentric aortic insufficiency jet together with “fracture” of the right leaflet tip are diagnostic. Primary repair includes internal geometric ring annuloplasty to downsize and reshape the annulus, together with central plication of the prolapsing leaflet. Thickened, scarred, or retracted noduli are released using an ultrasonic aspirator. The goal is to achieve equivalent coaptation heights of ≥8 mm for all 3 leaflets. Results: Three videos of 6 cases are provided to illustrate these techniques. In the first, 3 patients are shown with classic isolated right leaflet prolapse. In the second and third videos, alternative pathologies are presented for contrast. Applying the reconstructive approaches of geometric ring annuloplasty, leaflet plication, and ultrasonic nodular release, excellent early and late repair outcomes are obtainable in most patients. Conclusions: The combination of aortic ring annuloplasty, central leaflet plication, and ultrasonic nodular release allows routine and standardized repair of right coronary leaflet prolapse, either isolated or concomitant with aneurysm surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJTCVS Techniques
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s)


  • aortic ring annuloplasty
  • aortic valve insufficiency
  • aortic valve repair

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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