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Ann Thorac Surg. 2000 Jan;69(1):25-9.

Repair of anterior leaflet mitral valve prolapse: chordal replacement versus chordal shortening.

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Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.



To determine the optimal method of repair for severe, segmental anterior leaflet prolapse, we analyzed outcome of 121 patients who underwent chordal shortening (n = 46) and chordal replacement (n = 75) from 1988 to 1996.


Chordae were replaced with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene sutures. Patients had an annuloplasty with either chordal replacement or shortening. Follow-up was 100% complete (mean, 3.7 years).


Mean age was 62.1 years, 86 were men, and 60 patients had isolated valve repair. There was one hospital death and 14 late deaths for a 5-year actuarial survival of 86.4%+/-4.5%. Sixteen patients underwent reoperation, 5 in the replacement group and 11 in the shortening group. Mechanism of valve failure in the replacement group was native chordae rupture (n = 4) and neochordae dehiscence (n = 1). With chordal shortening, repair failure was attributed to rupture of shortened chordae (n = 8), leaflet prolapse with and without annuloplasty ring dehiscence (n = 2), and native chordae elongation (n = 1). Risk of reoperation because of repair failure at 3.5 years was 1.4% in the chordal replacement group and 14.8% in the chordal shortening group (p = 0.02).


Chordal replacement is superior to chordal shortening, providing a predictable method for correction of mitral regurgitation with a low incidence of reoperation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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