Long-term follow-up after implantation of the Shelhigh® No-React® complete biological aortic valved conduit†.

Reineke, David Christian; Kaya, Abdullah; Heinisch, Paul Philipp; Oezdemir, Berna; Winkler, Bernhard; Huber, Christoph; Heijmen, Robin H; Morshuis, Wim; Carrel, Thierry; Englberger, Lars (2015). Long-term follow-up after implantation of the Shelhigh® No-React® complete biological aortic valved conduit†. European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery, 50(1), pp. 98-104. Oxford University Press 10.1093/ejcts/ezv452

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Long-term follow-up reports after implantation of the Shelhigh® (Shelhigh, Inc., NJ, USA) No-React® aortic valved conduit used for aortic root replacement do not exist.


Between November 1998 and December 2007, the Shelhigh® No-React® aortic valved conduit was implanted in 291 consecutive patients with a mean age of 69.6 ± 9.1 years, and 33.7% were female (n = 98). Indications were annulo-aortic ectasia (n = 202), aortic valve stenosis combined with ascending aortic aneurysm (n = 67), acute type A aortic dissection (n = 29), endocarditis (n = 26) and other related pathologies (n = 48) including 62 patients with previous cardiac surgery. Data from two cardiac institutions were analysed retrospectively using SPSS (SPSS Software IBM, Inc., 2014, NY, USA).


Operative mortality was 10% (n = 29). Main cause of death was cardiac failure in 15 patients (51.8%), neurological events in 6 patients (20.7%), respiratory failure in 4 patients (13.8%), bleeding complications in 2 patients (6.9%) and gastrointestinal ischaemia in 2 cases (6.9%). There were 262 hospital survivors and all were entered in the follow-up study (100% complete). During the long-term follow-up (mean 70.3 ± 53.1 in months), a total of 126/262 patients (44.3%) died. Main causes of death in patients after discharge were cardiac (n = 37, 14.1%), neurological (n = 15, 5.7%) respiratory (n = 12, 4.6%), endocarditis (n = 12, 4.6%) and peripheral vascular disease (n = 5, 1.9%). In 29 (11.1%) patients, the cause of death could not be determined. Reoperation was required in 25 (8.6%) patients due to infection of the conduit (n = 9), aortoventricular disconnection (n = 4), pseudoaneurysm formation (n = 4) and structural valve degeneration (n = 8). Reoperations were performed 5.0 ± 3.8 (range 0.1-11.7) years after index surgery.


The Shelhigh® No-React® aortic valved conduit showed satisfactory short-term operative results. However, the long-term follow-up revealed a relatively high rate of deaths, which may be explained by the epidemiology of the patient group, but a substantial proportion of deaths could not be clarified. The overall rate of reoperation (8.6%) during the mid-term follow-up is worrisome and the failures due to aortoventricular disconnection, endocarditis and pseudoaneurysm formation remain unexplained. The redo-procedures were technically demanding. We recommend close follow-up of patients with the Shelhigh® No-React® aortic valved conduit, because besides classical structural valve degeneration, unexpected findings may be observed.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Heart Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Reineke, David Christian, Heinisch, Paul Philipp, Winkler, Bernhard, Huber, Christoph, Carrel, Thierry, Englberger, Lars


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Daniela Huber

Date Deposited:

14 Jan 2016 16:49

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2024 14:28

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Aortic valve; Complete biological conduit; Long-term outcome; Root replacement





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