Clinical experience with the first 100 ATS heart valve implants
Abstract Between May 1992 and March 1994, 100 consecutive patients had 119 new ATS mechanical bileaflet valves inserted (61 aortic, 50 mitral, eight tricuspid). The mean age of the patients was 63.7 (range 13–82) years. The follow-up period ranged from 5 to 27 months and was complete in all cases. Before surgery, 53 aortic valve patients were in New York Heart Association functional class III or higher. This improved to a mean of 1.3 postoperatively, all patients being in classes I or II. One patient died in hospital, and another 3 months after implantation (actuarial survival rate 98%). One patient had an embolic event 9 days after an aortic valve reoperation which caused a parietal infarction. One tricuspid valve blocked in the open position 6 weeks after implantation as a result of inadequate anticoagulation and was successfully unblocked after 2 days of intensive thrombolytic therapy. Patients were treated by mild anticoagulation without developing bleeding complications. Echocardiographic, transoesophageal and transthoracic valvular gradients compared favourably with the gradients reported in other mechanical valves (including small aortic valves). The haemodynamics were excellent without evidence of significant regurgitation. This was confirmed by an in vitro hydrodynamic evaluation of the valve using a pulse duplicator system. The valve closure caused little noise and was as a result well tolerated.
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