A comparison of aortic valve replacement via an anterior right minithoracotomy with standard sternotomy: A propensity score analysis of 492 patients

Michael E. Bowdish, Dawn S. Hui, John D. Cleveland, Wendy J. Mack, Raina Sinha, Rupesh Ranjan, Robbin G. Cohen, Craig J. Baker, Mark J. Cunningham, Mark L. Barr, Vaughn A. Starnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Right anterior minithoracotomy with central arterial cannulation is our preferred technique of minimally invasive aortic valve replacement (AVR). We compared perioperative outcomes with this technique to those via sternotomy. METHODS: Between March 1999 and December 2013, 492 patients underwent isolated AVR via either sternotomy (SAVR, n = 198) or minimally invasive right anterior thoracotomy (MIAVR, n = 294) in our institution. Univariate comparisons between groups were made to evaluate overall outcomes and adverse events. To control treatment selection bias, propensity scores were constructed from core patient characteristics. A propensity score-stratified analysis of outcome and adverse events was then performed. RESULTS: Overall mortality was 2.5 and 1.0% in the SAVR and MIAVR groups, respectively. Hospital and ICU stays were shorter, there was less intraoperative blood product usage, and fewer wound infections in the MIAVR group. There were no differences in other adverse events, including strokes. The composite end-point of alive and adverse event-free was significantly more common in the MIAVR group (83 vs 74%, P = 0.002). After adjusting for the propensity score, hospital and ICU stays remained shorter and intraoperative blood product usage remained less in the MIAVR group. There was no difference in mortality, stroke or other adverse events between groups. CONCLUSION: Minimally invasive AVR via an anterior right thoracotomy with predominately central cannulation can be performed with morbidity and mortality similar to that of a sternotomy approach. There appear to be advantages to this minimally invasive approach when compared with sternotomy in terms of less intraoperative blood product usage, lower wound infection rates and decreased hospital stays. If mortality and the occurrence of adverse events are taken together, MIAVR may be associated with better outcomes. As minimally invasive AVR becomes more common, further long-term follow-up is needed and a prospective multicentre randomized trial would be warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberezv038
Pages (from-to)456-463
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic valve
  • Minimally invasive surgery
  • Valve replacement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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