Objectives: To examine the role and outcomes of all interventions for aortic stenosis in children, with focus on freedom from reintervention and the aim to minimise prosthetic aortic valve replacement (pAVR) during childhood. Methods: Retrospective analysis of 194 consecutive children who underwent any aortic valve intervention for a biventricular repair strategy at a single institution between 1995-2017. Data were obtained from hospital records and follow-up was 100% complete. Results: Over a 22-year period, 194 children underwent total 313 aortic valve procedures: Primary interventions were surgical valvotomy (SV)/surgical repair (SR) in 94 (48.5%), balloon valvuloplasty (BV) in 60 (30.9%), pAVR in 8 (4.1%) and Ross/Ross-Konno procedure in 32 (16.5%). Median age at first intervention was 1.1 years (IQR 0.1-9.4) and varied with type of intervention: SV/SR were most common in neonates (33, 75%) and infants (35, 68%), whilst BV was most frequent in older children (42, 42%). Operative survival was 99% (2 early deaths, both in neonates with critical aortic stenosis and poor left ventricular function) and 15-year survival was 95%. A Ross procedure was performed in 79 (40.7%) patients over the 15-year study period, one of whom required late pAVR for autograft failure. Freedom from any reintervention after SV/SR and BV was 41% and 40% at 10 years, compared to 90% at 10 years with the Ross procedure (p<0.001). Amongst neonatal SV/SR and BV, 98% required reintervention during childhood with no difference between groups. Valve morphology did not influence freedom from ultimate valve replacement. In patients who went on to have a Ross procedure, median time from initial intervention to Ross was 2.8 years (IQR 0.1-11.9) in neonates and 6.0 years (IQR 3.1-7.5) in all other age groups. Overall freedom from pAVR was 97% at 10 years and was similar in the SV/SR and BV groups. Conclusion: A strategy of simple valve repair and primary Ross procedure provides excellent survival and good freedom from pAVR. However, reintervention rates after simple interventions for congenital AS are high, especially in younger age groups. The Ross procedure offers the best freedom from reintervention of any technique and wider use of primary Ross in younger age groups should be considered.
- Ross procedure
- congenital aortic stenosis
- prosthetic aortic valve replacement