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You are here: Contents > 2006 > Volume 15 Number 1 January 2006 > DEVICE EVALUATION > Is the St. Jude Medical Mechanical Valve an Appropriate Choice for Elderly Patients?: A Long-Term Retrospective Study Measuring Quality of Life

Is the St. Jude Medical Mechanical Valve an Appropriate Choice for Elderly Patients?: A Long-Term Retrospective Study Measuring Quality of Life

Kevin D. Accola, Meredith L. Scott, S. David Spector, Paul A. Thompson, George J. Palmer, Mark E. Sand, Jorge E. Suarez-Cavalier, George Ebra

Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute, Cardiovascular Surgeons, P.A., Orlando, Florida, USA

Background and aim of the study: The selection of a suitable valve substitute in patients requiring valvular heart surgery is an important element in the preoperative decision-making process between cardiologist, surgeon, and patient. Controversy persists regarding the use of mechanical valves in the elderly. With the population living longer, reoperative risk becomes of paramount importance. Quality of life (QOL) considerations are often as important to the patient as longevity. The influence of mechanical valve replacement on QOL in elderly patients has not been well documented.
Methods: Between June 1981 and December 1999, a total of 1,125 consecutive patients aged ≥65 years (582 men, 543 women; mean age 71.4 ± 4.9 years) underwent valve replacement with at least one St. Jude Medical (SJM) mechanical valve. Preoperatively, 138 patients (12.3%) were in NYHA class II, 775 (68.9%) in class III, and 212 (18.8%) in class IV. In 535 patients (47.6%), coronary artery disease required surgical intervention. Survivors were administered

the Short Form (SF)-36 QOL Survey at follow up, which was 96.1% complete.
Results: Hospital mortality was 7.6% (85/1,125). Mean follow up was 5.9 years (range: 9 months to 18.4 years). Mean (± SEM) actuarial survival was 70.6 ± 1.4% at five years, and 40.6 ± 2.0% at 10 years. Male patients scored significantly higher on the SF-36 than controls in physical (p = 0.012) and mental health (p = 0.004). Comparing female patients with controls revealed no significant difference in physical health; however, they scored higher in mental health than controls (p = 0.001).
Conclusion: The study results clearly demonstrate that heart surgery in the elderly with the SJM mechanical valve can be accomplished with acceptable hospital mortality, morbidity, and excellent long-term results. Moreover, long-term QOL in elderly patients with a SJM valve can be expected to meet or exceed that of age- and gender-matched controls.
The Journal of Heart Valve Disease 2006;15:57-66

Is the St. Jude Medical Mechanical Valve an Appropriate Choice for Elderly Patients?: A Long-Term Retrospective Study Measuring Quality of Life

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