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Exercise performance in children and adolescents after the Ross procedure

  • Bradley S. Marino (a1), Sara K. Pasquali (a1), Gil Wernovsky (a1), John R. Bockoven (a2), Michael McBride (a1), Catherine J. Cho (a1), Thomas L. Spray (a1) and Stephen M. Paridon (a1)...


Objectives: The Ross procedure is increasingly utilized in the treatment of aortic valvar disease in children and adolescents. Our purpose was to compare pre- and post-operative exercise state in this population. Methods: We included patients who underwent the Ross procedure at our institution between January, 1995, and December, 2003, and in whom we had performed pre- and post-operative exercise stress tests. We used a ramp bicycle protocol to measure consumption of oxygen and production of carbon dioxide. Cardiac output was estimated from effective pulmonary blood flow by the helium acetylene re-breathing technique. Results: We studied 26 patients, having a median age at surgery of 15.7 years, with a range from 7.5 to 24.1 years. The primary indication for surgery in two-thirds was combined aortic stenosis and insufficiency. Median time from the operation to the post-operative exercise stress test was 17.4 months, with a range from 6.7 to 30.2 months. There was a trend toward lower maximal consumption of oxygen after the procedure, at 36.3 plus or minus 7.6 millilitres per kilogram per minute (83.9% predicted) as opposed to 38.6 plus or minus 8.4 millilitres per kilogram per minute (88.5% predicted, p equal to 0.06). Patients after the procedure, however, had significantly increased adiposity, so that there was no difference in maximal consumption of oxygen indexed to ideal body weight before and after the operation. In 20 of the patients, aerobic capacity improved or was stable after the operation. There was no post-operative chronotropic impairment. Conclusions: In the majority of patients following the Ross procedure, exercise performance is stable and within the normal range of a healthy age and sex matched population, despite sedentary lifestyles and increased adiposity.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Stephen M. Paridon MD, The Cardiac Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Division of Cardiology, 2nd Floor Main Building, 34th Street and Civic Center Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Tel: +1 215 590 2226; Fax: +1 215 590 5825; E-mail:


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