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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2014 Oct;148(4):1400-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.01.032. Epub 2014 Jan 29.

Mitral valve repair versus replacement in the elderly: short-term and long-term outcomes.

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Division of Cardiac Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Division of Cardiac Surgery, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass. Electronic address:



To compare the short-term and long-term outcomes of mitral valve repair (MVP) versus mitral valve replacement (MVR) in elderly patients.


All patients, age 70 years or greater, with mitral regurgitation who underwent MVP or MVR with or without coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), tricuspid valve surgery, or a maze procedure between 2002 and 2011 were retrospectively identified. Patients with a rheumatic cause or who underwent concomitant aortic valve or ventricular-assist device procedures were excluded.


Overall, 556 patients underwent MVP and 102 patients underwent MVR. The mean age of the patients in the MVR group was 78 years versus 77 years for those in the MVP group (P<.02). The patients in the MVR group had a better mean left ventricular ejection fraction than those in the MVP group (60% vs 55%, P=.04). The incidence of concomitant CABG, tricuspid valve operations, and atrial fibrillation ablation procedures was similar in both groups, but perfusion time was significantly longer for the MVR group (median 177 minutes vs 146 minutes for MVP, P=.001). Postoperatively, patients in the MVR group had a higher incidence of stroke (6% vs 2%, P<.10) and significantly longer intensive care unit stay (median 86 hours vs 55 hours, P=.001) and hospital stay (9 days vs 8 days, P<.01). Operative mortality of patients was significantly higher for the MVR group (8.8% vs 3.6%, P=.03) and remained significant long-term on Kaplan-Meier analysis. Cox regression analysis of all 658 patients and propensity-matched analysis of 96 patients also confirmed these results.


Elderly patients with mitral regurgitation who undergo MVP have better postoperative outcomes, lower operative mortality, and improved long-term survival than those undergoing MVR. MVP is a safe and more effective option for the elderly with mitral regurgitation.

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