Late aortic dilatation and regurgitation after Ross operation

Moon Young Kim, Chan Young Na, Yang Min Kim, Jeong Wook Seo

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The Ross operation, a procedure of replacement of the diseased aortic valve with an autologous pulmonary valve, has many advantages such as no need for anticoagulation therapy and similar valve function and growth potential as native valves. However secondary aortic disease has emerged as a signifi cant complication and indication for reoperation. We report a 48-year-old woman who had Ross operation in 1997 for a damaged bicuspid aortic valve and severe aortic regurgitation due to subacute bacterial endocarditis complicated by aortic root abscess. In 2009, 12 years later, progressive severe aortic regurgitation with incomplete coaptation and mild dilatation of the aortic root was shown on echocardiography and contrasted CT, while the pulmonary homograft retained normal function. She subsequently underwent aortic valve replacement. Histopathological examination of the explanted neo-aortic valve and neo-arterial wall revealed pannus formation at the nodulus Arantii area of the three valve cusps, ventricularis, and arterialis. The amount of elastic fibres in the neo-aorta media was less than usual for an aorta of this patient's age but was similar to a pulmonary artery. The pathological findings were not different from other studies of specimens removed between 7 to 12 years after Ross operation. However, the pathophysiology and long-term implications of these findings remain debatable. Considering the anatomical and physiological changes induced by the procedure, separate mechanisms for aortic dilatation and regurgitation are worthy of consideration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalMalaysian Journal of Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2010


  • Aortic valve
  • Aortic valve insuffi ciency
  • Cardiac pathology
  • Heart valve prosthesis implantation

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