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You are here: Contents > 2012 > Volume 21 Number 3 May 2012 > AORTIC VALVE DISEASE > Slow Rate of Progression of Grade 1 and 2+ Aortic Regurgitation

Slow Rate of Progression of Grade 1 and 2+ Aortic Regurgitation

Reena Patel, Ashvin Kamath BA, Padmini Varadarajan, Srikanth Krishnan BS, Ramdas G. Pai

Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, CA, USA

Background and aim of the study: Although the progression of aortic stenosis has been well studied, the rate of progression of aortic regurgitation (AR) has not been definitively established. Further data would be valuable for clinical decision-making in patients with milder degrees of AR undergoing non-aortic valve cardiac surgery. Hence, this point was investigated in a large cohort of patients with grade 1 or 2+ AR.
Methods: The authors’ echocardiographic database acquired between 1993 and 2007 was screened for patients with grade 1 or 2+ AR who had undergone follow up echocardiography at least one year later. The AR severity was graded as 1 to 4+, and any annual changes in AR grade were monitored.
Results: Among a total of 4,128 patients identified, 3,266 had grade 1+ AR and 862 had grade 2+ AR on the initial echocardiogram: the mean age was 67 ± 15 years, and the duration of follow up was 4.2 ± 2.7 years. Of those patients initially with grade 1+ AR, 95% showed no change in AR over a mean interval of

4.2 years, with an annual average increase in AR grade of 0.04. Of those patients initially with grade 2+ AR, 90% showed no change over this period, with an annual average increase in grade of 0.07. In the entire cohort, the AR progression correlated positively with age (p = 0.03), ventricular septal thickness (p <0.0001), stroke distance (the time velocity integral of flow in the left ventricular outflow tract) (p = 0.0003), the presence of any degree of aortic stenosis (p = 0.01), and initial AR severity
(p <0.0001).
Conclusion: The rate of AR progression is extremely slow, and prophylactic aortic valve replacement during non-aortic surgery may not be indicated in patients with grade 1 or 2+ AR in the absence of any higher risk for progression, such as grade 2+ AR combined with any degree of aortic stenosis and advanced age.


The Journal of Heart Valve Disease 2012;21:328-330

Slow Rate of Progression of Grade 1 and 2+ Aortic Regurgitation

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