Balloon aortic valvuloplasty and open surgical valvotomy are procedures to treat neonatal aortic stenosis, and there is controversy as to which method has superior outcomes.
We reviewed the records of patients at our institution since 2000 who had a balloon aortic valvuloplasty or surgical valvotomy via an open commissurotomy prior to 2 months of age.
Forty patients had balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 15 patients had surgical valvotomy via an open commissurotomy. There was no difference in post-procedure mean gradient by transthoracic echocardiogram, which were 25.8 mmHg for balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 26.2 mmHg for surgical valvotomy, p = 0.87. Post-procedure, 15% of balloon aortic valvuloplasty patients had moderate aortic insufficiency and 2.5% of patients had severe aortic insufficiency, while no surgical valvotomy patients had moderate or severe aortic insufficiency. The average number of post-procedure hospital days was 14.2 for balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 19.8 for surgical valvotomy (p = 0.52). Freedom from re-intervention was 69% for balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 67% for surgical valvotomy at 1 year, and 43% for balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 67% for surgical valvotomy at 5 years (p = 0.60).
Balloon aortic valvuloplasty and surgical valvotomy provide similar short-term reduction in valve gradient. Balloon aortic valvuloplasty has a slightly shorter but not statistically significant hospital stay. Freedom from re-intervention is similar at 1 year. At 5 years, it is slightly higher in surgical valvotomy, though not statistically different. Balloon aortic valvuloplasty had a higher incidence of significant aortic insufficiency. Long-term comparisons cannot be made given the lack of long-term follow-up with surgical valvotomy.