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J Heart Valve Dis. 2004 May;13(3):421-8; discussion 428-9.

Long-term results of the surgical treatment of chronic ischemic mitral regurgitation: comparison of repair and prosthetic replacement.

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Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Insubria, Ospedale di Circolo e Fondazioni Macchi, Viale Borri 57, 21100 Varese, Italy.



The optimal management of chronic ischemic mitral regurgitation (CIMR) remains controversial. Herein, the authors reviewed the past 10 years of their experience to compare the long-term results of mitral valve repair with prosthetic replacement.


Between January 1993 and January 2003, 102 patients (mean age 67.8 years; range: 51-80 years) with a preoperative diagnosis of CIMR, underwent mitral valve repair (n = 61; 59.8%) or prosthetic replacement (n = 41; 40.2%), along with myocardial revascularization (2.5 +/- 1.0 distal anastomoses per patients, internal thoracic artery used in 78.5%). A Carpentier Classic ring was always used in the repair procedures. The two groups were homogeneous for preoperative characteristics and comorbidities.


Total operative mortality was 7.8% (repair 8.2%; prosthesis 7.3%; p = NS). The five-year actuarial survival (operative mortality included) was 66.6 +/- 7.4% for repair and 73.4 +/- 8.7% for prosthesis (p = NS). Cox multivariate analysis showed as independent risk factor for late survival a preoperative left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) < or = 30% (RR 3.91; 95% CI = 1.47-10.38) and a preoperative pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) > or = 35 mumHg (RR 2.74; 95% CI = 1.07-7.02), while the type of mitral procedure was not significant. Patients with annular dilation as a mechanism of regurgitation were significant more likely to undergo repair rather than receive a prosthesis. Their preoperative LVEF and PAP were significantly worse than patients who had altered leaflet motion as a regurgitation mechanism.


Prosthetic mitral replacement and valve repair offer very similar results for CIMR. When a perfect repair is not easily feasible, cardiac surgeons should not hesitate to perform mitral valve replacement, as it is an excellent alternative therapy, though long-term outcome is mainly dependent on preoperative condition.

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