Patient Age at the Ross Operation in Children Influences Aortic Root Dimensions and Aortic Regurgitation

Jürgen Hörer*, Jelena Kasnar-Samprec, Efstratios Charitos, Ulrich Stierle, Ad J.J.C. Bogers, Wolfgang Hemmer, Roland Hetzer, Michael Hübler, Derek R. Robinson, Hans H. Sievers, Rüdiger Lange

*Corresponding author for this work
3 Citations (Scopus)


The Ross operation provides the advantage of growth potential of the pulmonary autograft in the aortic position. However, development of autograft dilatation and regurgitation may occur. We sought to assess the progression of autograft diameters and aortic regurgitation (AR) with regard to patient age at the time of the Ross operation. Autograft echo dimensions from 48 children <16 years of age at the time of the Ross operation, who had follow-up echocardiograms at <20 years of age, were analyzed using hierarchical multilevel modeling. The z values of autograft dimensions were calculated according to the normal aortic dimensions. Mean follow-up was 5.1 ± 3.3 years. The mean age at the time of the Ross operation was 10.0 ± 4.3 years. The mean z values of all patients showed a significant increase with follow-up time at the sinus (0.5 ± 0.1/year, P < .001) and the sinotubular junction (0.7 ± 0.2/year, P < .001) but not at the annulus (0.1 ± 0.1/year, P = .59). There was no significant difference in the z values of sinus and the sinotubular junction between younger and older children at implantation and with time. The initial annulus z value was significantly larger in younger children (P < .0001), whereas the annual increase was significantly higher in older children (P = .021). Age at operation has no impact on the initial AR grade (P = .60). The AR tends to increase more quickly in older patients (P = .040). Sinus and sinotubular junction dilate with time, regardless of patient age. Young children show larger initial annulus sizes than older children. However, annulus diameters tend to normalize in young children, whereas they increase in older children. Autograft regurgitation develops slowly, but significantly, and predominantly in older children. Stabilizing measures to prevent autograft root dilatation are warranted in adolescents, but they are not required in young children.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWorld Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)245-252
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2013


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