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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 1998 Mar;13(3):240-5; discussion 245-6.

The edge-to-edge technique: a simplified method to correct mitral insufficiency.

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Division of Cardiac Surgery, IRCCS S. Raffaele Hospital, Milano, Italy.



Repair of mitral regurgitation (MR) is more demanding in case of prolapse of the anterior leaflet, posterior leaflet with calcified annulus, or prolapse of both leaflets. We evaluated a repair which consists of anchoring the free edge of the prolapsing leaflet to the corresponding free edge of the facing leaflet: the 'edge-to-edge' (E-to-E) technique. The correction results in a double orifice valve when the prolapse is in the middle portion of the leaflet and in a smaller valve orifice when the prolapse is close to a commissure.


Out of 432 patients with MR submitted to valve repair between January 1991 and September 1997, 121 (mean age 56 +/- 15.8 years) underwent E-to-E correction. The most prevalent etiology was degenerative disease (82 patients, 68%). The mechanism of MR was anterior leaflet prolapse (61 patients), posterior leaflet prolapse (24 patients), prolapse of both leaflets (28 patients) and other complex mechanisms (8 patients). In 72 patients, a double orifice was created, the paracommissural repair was done in 49 patients.


Hospital mortality was 1.6%. Overall survival was 92 +/- 3.1% at 6 years with 95 +/- 4.8% freedom from reoperation. Mortality was unrelated to the type of repair. Mitral stenosis was never observed after the correction. At the follow-up (mean 2.2 +/- 1.5 years), all patients but 15 are class I or II. Symptoms at the follow-up are not related to residual MR.


Midterm results of this alternative repair technique are promising, considering the high prevalence of complex anatomical lesions. The technique is simple, easily reproducible and rapidly feasible also when mitral exposure is suboptimal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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