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Management of moderate secondary mitral regurgitation at the time of aortic valve surgery

Valvular Heart Diseases

OBJECTIVES To define the impact of surgical strategy [concomitant mitral valve surgery or isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR)] in patients with moderate secondary mitral regurgitation (MR) at the time of AVR.

METHODS From January 1999 to December 2009, 3339 patients underwent AVR of whom 255 had secondary MR >2+ and constituted the study population. Patients were stratified into two groups, with (Group A,n = 94, 36.8%) and without concomitant mitral valve surgery (Group B, n = 161, 63.2%). Follow-up up to 12 years (1076 patient-years) was analysed for survival, valve-related events and persistent MR. Predictors of late mortality and persistent MR were further analysed. A case-match analysis [age, gender, New York Heart Association (NYHA) and left ventricular ejection fraction] was performed, excluding patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).

RESULTS The mean age of the population was 67.0 ± 11.7 years, 63.5% male and 64.7% in NYHA III–IV. Group B patients were significantly older and had higher incidence of coronary disease, hypertension and mitral calcification. They also had a higher ejection fraction and transaortic gradients, and lower MR grade (mean MR: 2.8 vs 3.2) and pulmonary artery pressure. Mitral surgery consisted mainly of annuloplasty procedures (96%). Only 2 patients from the entire cohort were reoperated on/for the mitral valve. Thirty-day mortality rate was 0.3%. There was no difference in long-term survival and valve-related complications, even after case-matched analysis. CAD, history of cerebrovascular accident, permanent atrial fibrillation, renal failure and persistence of MR emerged as independent predictors of late mortality (P < 0.05). MR improved in 67.4% of patients from Group B against 82.3% from Group A (P = 0.011). Atrial fibrillation (AF) and higher MR grade at discharge were the only independent predictors for persistent MR (P < 0.05). Patients with persistent MR early after AVR had decreased late survival (hazard ratio: 4.9, P = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS Secondary MR improves after AVR even without mitral surgery. Concomitant mitral surgery was significantly associated with greater improvement of postoperative MR, but had no significant impact on survival. However, patients who did not improve immediately

Notes to editor

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg (2013) 44 (1): 32-40
The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.