Aortic valve replacement in patients older than 85 years: outcomes and the effect on their quality of life
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PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the outcome of aortic valve replacement (AVR) and the effect on quality of life in patients aged over 85 who had symptomatic aortic stenosis. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of 21 patients, aged 85-91 years (mean age 86.5), who underwent AVR, 10 of whom underwent concomitant coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) between 1989 and 1995. All patients were categorized as New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class III and IV. A questionnaire was used to evaluate heart symptoms and quality of life among the 13 patients who were alive at follow-up (9-83 months). RESULTS: Eighteen patients were categorized as NYHA functional class I and II for 1 year (9 months for one patient) after AVR. Three patients, all undergoing concomitant CABG, died early. The overall 1-, 2- and 3-year actuarial survival rate was 85%, 64% and 53% (among the patients undergoing only AVR the figures were 100%, 100% and 85%). Follow-up questionnaire results showed an improvement in the patients' symptoms of heart disease, dyspnea (P = 0.017) and angina (P = 0.03). An improvement in the patients' physical functioning (P = 0.025), satisfaction with physical ability (P = 0.005), sleep (P = 0.025), health status (P = 0.025) and perception of general health (P = 0.005) was also observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that AVR can be performed on patients > or = 85 years of age or older, with an improvement in heart symptoms and quality of life.