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Cathet Cardiovasc Diagn. 1994;Suppl 2:52-60.

Complications related to percutaneous transvenous mitral commissurotomy.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710.


Recent randomized studies have demonstrated that percutaneous transvenous mitral commissurotomy (PTMC) has similar efficacy compared to surgical commissurotomy. Compared with surgery, PTMC is associated with shorter hospital stays, reduced patient discomfort, and significantly lower costs. The challenge of PTMC remains to provide increased safety. The most serious risks of balloon commissurotomy include cardiac perforation and embolic stroke. The creation of severe mitral regurgitation also limits the effectiveness of the procedure and occasionally leads to the requirement for emergency mitral valve replacement. Since 1986, procedure-related mortality has ranged from 0-2.7% with lower mortality rates reported recently. The most frequent cause of procedure-related death has been left ventricular (LV) perforation. This is almost exclusively a complication associated with the double balloon technique, which requires LV guidewires. Cardiac perforation due to inadvertent atrial perforation during transseptal catheterization may occur with the Inoue technique as well, but this tends to be less severe and has not resulted in death. Embolic stroke has occurred in 1.1-5.4% of cases. The incidence of embolic events has been favorably influenced by routine preprocedure transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), eliminating patients with left atrial thrombi. Significant mitral regurgitation occurs in 3.3-10.5% of patients undergoing balloon mitral commissurotomy. Fortunately, mitral regurgitation infrequently requires emergency surgery (0.3-3.3% of cases). Iatrogenic atrial septal defects are usually of no clinical consequence. Their frequency has been reduced with the use of the Inoue balloon catheter system and they rarely require surgical repair.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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