Is early anticoagulation with warfarin necessary after bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement?

Academic Article


  • Objectives: Freedom from anticoagulation is the principal advantage of bioprosthesis; however, the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology and the American College of Chest Physicians guidelines recommend early anticoagulation with heparin, followed by warfarin for 3 months after bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement. We examined neurologic events within 90 days of bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement at our institution. Methods: Between 1993 and 2000, 1151 patients underwent bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement with (641) or without (510) associated coronary artery bypass. By surgeon preference, 624 had early postoperative anticoagulation (AC+) and 527 did not (AC-). In the AC- group, 410 patients (78%) received antiplatelet therapy. Groups were similar with respect to gender (female, 36% AC+ vs 40% AC-, P = .21), hypertension (64% AC+ vs 61%, P = .27), and prior stroke (7.6% AC+ vs 8.5% AC-, P = .54). The AC+ group was slightly younger than the AC- group (median, 76 years vs 78 years, P = .006). Results: Operative mortality was 4.1% with 43 (3.7%) cerebrovascular events within 90 days. Excluding 18 deficits apparent upon emergence from anesthesia, we found that postoperative cerebrovascular accident occurred in 2.4% of AC+ and 1.9% AC- patients. By multivariable analysis, the only predictor of operative mortality was hypertension (P < .0001). Postoperative cerebrovascular accident was unrelated to warfarin use (P = .32). The incidence of mediastinal bleeding requiring reexploration was similar (5.0% vs 7.4%), as were other bleeding complications in the first 90 days (1.1% vs 0.8%). No variables were predictive of bleeding by multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Although these data do not address the role of antiplatelet agents, early anticoagulation with warfarin after bioprosthetic aortic valve replacement did not appear to protect against neurologic events. Copyright © 2005 by The American Association for Thoracic Surgery.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 23181456
  • Author List

  • Sundt TM; Zehr KJ; Dearani JA; Daly RC; Mullany CJ; McGregor CGA; Puga FJ; Orszulak TA; Schaff HV
  • Start Page

  • 1024
  • End Page

  • 1031
  • Volume

  • 129
  • Issue

  • 5