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Am J Cardiol. 1997 Sep 15;80(6):741-5.

Improvement in mitral regurgitation after aortic valve replacement.

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Section of Cardiology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA.


This study sought to determine whether there is a quantitative improvement in mitral regurgitation (MR) after aortic valve replacement (AVR) for aortic stenosis (AS) and, if so, the mechanisms for this change. MR frequently accompanies AS. The addition of mitral valve replacement to AVR significantly increases the risk of surgery. Although previous studies have suggested a qualitative improvement in MR severity after AVR, semiquantitative analysis of this improvement has not been documented nor have the underlying mechanisms been examined. We evaluated 28 patients who had undergone 2-dimensional echo and color flow Doppler imaging an average of 1.5 +/- 2.5 months before and 2.5 +/- 4.2 months after AVR. Maximum MR area, MR percentage (MR area/left atrial area), mitral annular area, left atrial area, aortic gradient, and parameters of left ventricular geometry were measured to evaluate MR severity and to assess functional mechanisms for improvement in MR. There was a significant decrease in MR area (5.5 +/- 2.8 cm2 vs 2.5 +/- 1.9 cm2, p < or =0.0001) and MR percentage (25 +/- 11% vs 12 +/- 10% after operation, p < or =0.0001) between preoperative and postoperative studies. There was a significant reduction in aortic gradient, mitral annular area, left atrial area, and left ventricular length postoperatively. In univariate analysis, MR improvement was related to the lower preoperative left ventricular fractional area change (p = 0.027) and to the changes in fractional area change (p = 0.001) and left ventricular systolic area (p = 0.001). Thus, improvement in MR after AVR is related to changes in left ventricular function postoperatively. These data suggest that reduction in MR is due not only to decreased intraventricular pressure, but also to changes in ventricular morphology.

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