Two-dimensional echocardiography successfully displayed the location and extent of aortic root complications, annular abscess or mycotic aneurysm in nine patients with aortic valve endocarditis. Five of the nine patients had prosthetic valve endocarditis and four had native valve endocarditis. The infective process extended into the paravalvular structures, including the interventricular septum (seven patients), right ventricular outflow tract (three patients), interatrial septum (one patient) and anterior mitral valve leaflet (four patients). The amount of aorto-left ventricular discontinuity caused by these complications was quantitated in degrees of annular circumference on the parasternal short axis image and in distance on the parasternal long axis image. The echocardiographic findings were confirmed at surgery and were helpful in the preoperative anticipation of the type of surgical procedure required: aortic valve replacement or composite aortic valve and root replacement. Five patients had prosthetic valve endocarditis with calculated aorto-left ventricular discontinuity of 173 ± 55° on parasternal short axis images and 1.36 ± 0.72 cm on parasternal long axis images. Initial surgical repair included three composite aortic root-valve prosthesis implants, one reconstructive procedure with valve replacement and one simple aortic valve replacement. During a follow-up period of 18 months (range 1 to 35), a second reparative procedure was required for only one patient to repair an aortic conduit to coronary artery venous bypass graft. Four patients had native valve endocarditis with calculated aorto-left ventricular discontinuity of 100 ± 17° on parasternal short axis images and 0.88 ± 63 cm on parasternal long axis images. Initial surgical repair included two reconstructive procedures with valve replacement and two simple aortic valve replacements. During a follow-up period of 30 months (range 16 to 42), three of these four patients required a second reparative procedure: one each for repair of a paraprosthetic leak, a ventricular septal defect and persistent aorto-left ventricular discontinuity. Two-dimensional echocardiography accurately detected aortic annular abscess and mycotic aneurysm complicating aortic valve endocarditis and the resultant degree of aorto-left ventricular discontinuity. Circumferential aorto-left ventricular discontinuity with these complications is greater for prosthetic than native valve endocarditis and predicts a more extensive surgical repair. Simple aortic valve replacement in patients with aortic root endocarditis complicated by extensive aortoleft ventricular discontinuity may not constitute an adequate repair. Such patients frequently require a second, more definitive, surgical procedure.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
vision and the neapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Saner is supported by a grant of the Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences, Basel. Switzerland.