Cardiac Surgery| Volume 287, P124-133, July 2023

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Readmissions After Surgical Aortic Valve Replacement: Influence of Prosthesis Type

Published:March 16, 2023DOI:



      Prosthesis choice during aortic valve replacement (AVR) weighs lifelong anticoagulation with mechanical valves (M-AVR) against structural valve degeneration in bioprosthetic valves (B-AVR).


      The Nationwide Readmissions Database was queried to identify patients who underwent isolated surgical AVR between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018, stratifying by prothesis type. Propensity score matching was used to compare risk-adjusted outcomes. Readmission at 1 y was estimated with Kaplan–Meier (KM) analysis.


      Patients (n = 109,744) who underwent AVR (90,574 B-AVR and 19,170 M-AVR) were included. B-AVR patients were older (median 68 versus 57 y; P < 0.001) and had more comorbidities (mean Elixhauser score: 11.8 versus 10.7; P < 0.001) compared to M-AVR patients. After matching (n = 36,951), there was no difference in age (58 versus 57 y; P = 0.6) and Elixhauser score (11.0 versus 10.8; P = 0.3). B-AVR patients had similar in-hospital mortality (2.3% versus 2.3%; P = 0.9) and cost (mean: $50,958 versus $51,200; P = 0.4) compared with M-AVR patients. However, B-AVR patients had shorter length of stay (8.3 versus 8.7 d; P < 0.001) and fewer readmissions at 30 d (10.3% versus 12.6%; P < 0.001) and 90 d (14.8% versus 17.8%; P < 0.001), and 1 y (P < 0.001, KM analysis). Patients undergoing B-AVR were less likely to be readmitted for bleeding or coagulopathy (5.7% versus 9.9%; P < 0.001) and effusions (9.1% versus 11.9%; P < 0.001).


      B-AVR patients had similar early outcomes compared to M-AVR patients, but lower rates of readmission. Bleeding, coagulopathy, and effusions are drivers of excess readmissions in M-AVR patients. Readmission reduction strategies targeting bleeding and improved anticoagulation management are warranted in the first year following AVR.


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