Background: Rheumatic valve disease (RVD) is the most common cause of cardiovascular death in low-middle income nations. Surgical aortic valve (AV) interventions for RVD, especially in children, have proven problematic with graft failure, relapse, and poor compliance with anticoagulation. A novel technique involving neocuspidization of the aortic annulus using autologous pericardium to construct new AV leaflets (the Ozaki procedure) has shown promising outcomes in children with congenital AV disease; however, there are no previous recorded cases using this technique in children with RVD.
Case summary: We present the case of a 15-year-old male presenting with exertional angina and dyspnoea with a background of previous rheumatic fever. Echocardiography had shown a regurgitant tricuspid AV, left ventricular dilatation with mitral valve leaflet tethering. The patient underwent the Ozaki procedure for his AV regurgitation and was discharged following an uneventful post-operative recovery. The patient had full resolution of symptoms following the procedure and remains well 3 years following his operation.
Discussion: This case highlights that good outcomes with the Ozaki procedure in RVD are possible 3-years post-operatively and should prompt future studies to evaluate the procedure as a surgical option for paediatric patients in this clinical context. Additionally, the Ozaki procedure may also provide a cost-effective surgical technique requiring minimal additional operative resources and reduced follow-up demand, which would be critical in low-resource clinical settings where RVD is prevalent.
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© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology.