Surgical treatment of acquired ventricular septal defects in the elderly

Malcolm J.R. Dalrymple-Hay, Stephen M. Langley, Paul Ramesh, Ruth Pickering, Victor T. Tsang, Steve A. Livesey, Robert K. Lamb, James L. Monro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: As the population continues to age, older patients are being referred for repair of acquired ventricular septal defect (VSD) following myocardial infarction (MI). The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of age (≤ 70 years) on operative risk and long term survival following repair of an acquired VSD. Methods: Between January 1972 and December 1995, 179 patients have undergone repair of acquired VSDs following MI in our unit. There were 118 males and 61 females (age range 43-80 years) of whom 60 were aged 70 years or above. Results: The overall early mortality was 27%. On univariate analysis risk factors for early death included shorter time from both MI and detection of murmur to operation (P < 0.01, P = 0.04), site of MI (P < 0.01), higher NYHA class (P < 0.01), lower preoperative blood pressure (P < 0.01) and longer cardiopulmonary bypass and cross clamp times (P < 0.01, P = 0.03). Non significant variables included age, sex, concomitant CABG and preoperative renal function. Early mortality was 28.6% (34/119) in patients under 70 and 25.0% (15/60) in those over 70. This difference was not significant. The only significant differences between the age groups were sex distribution (females > males, P < 0.01), in the older group, and shorter time from both MI and detection of murmur to operation (P = 0.04, P = 0.02). Cardiopulmonary bypass was the only statistically significant variable on multivariate analysis (P = 0.01). Conclusions: There was no significant difference in early mortality between the two age groups. As shorter times from both MI and detection of murmur to operation adversely affect early mortality, age over 70 years should not be used to determine suitability for surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-303
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Age and elderly
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Ventricular septal defect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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