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Association Between Early Surgical Intervention vs Watchful Waiting and Outcomes for Mitral Regurgitation Due to Flail Mitral Valve Leaflets

Valvular Heart Disease

Importance The optimal management of severe mitral valve regurgitation in patients without class I triggers (heart failure symptoms or left ventricular dysfunction) remains controversial in part due to the poorly defined long-term consequences of current management strategies. In the absence of clinical trial data, analysis of large multicenter registries is critical.

Objective   To ascertain the comparative effectiveness of initial medical management (nonsurgical observation) vs early mitral valve surgery following the diagnosis of mitral regurgitation due to flail leaflets.
Design, Setting, and Participants   The Mitral Regurgitation International Database (MIDA) registry includes 2097 consecutive patients with flail mitral valve regurgitation (1980-2004) receiving routine cardiac care from 6 tertiary centers (France, Italy, Belgium, and the United States). Mean follow-up was 10.3 years and was 98% complete. Of 1021 patients with mitral regurgitation without the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) guideline class I triggers, 575 patients were initially medically managed and 446 underwent mitral valve surgery within 3 months following detection.
Main Outcomes and Measures  Association between treatment strategy and survival, heart failure, and new-onset atrial fibrillation.

Results  There was no significant difference in early mortality (1.1% for early surgery vs 0.5% for medical management, P=.28) and new-onset heart failure rates (0.9% for early surgery vs 0.9% for medical management, P=.96) between treatment strategies at 3 months. In contrast, long-term survival rates were higher for patients with early surgery (86% vs 69% at 10 years, P < .001), which was confirmed in adjusted models (hazard ratio [HR], 0.55 [95% CI, 0.41-0.72], P < .001), a propensity-matched cohort (32 variables; HR, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.35-0.79], P = .002), and an inverse probability–weighted analysis (HR, 0.66 [95% CI, 0.52-0.83], P < .001), associated with a 5-year reduction in mortality of 52.6% (P  < .001). Similar results were observed in relative reduction in mortality following early surgery in the subset with class II triggers (59.3 after 5 years, P = .002). Long-term heart failure risk was also lower with early surgery (7% vs 23% at 10 years, P < .001), which was confirmed in risk-adjusted models (HR, 0.29 [95% CI, 0.19-0.43], P < .001), a propensity-matched cohort (HR, 0.44 [95% CI, 0.26-0.76], P = .003), and in the inverse probability–weighted analysis (HR, 0.51 [95% CI, 0.36-0.72], P < .001). Reduction in late-onset atrial fibrillation was not observed (HR, 0.85 [95% CI, 0.64-1.13], P = .26).

Conclusion and Relevance   Among registry patients with mitral valve regurgitation due to flail mitral leaflets, performance of early mitral surgery compared with initial medical management was associated with greater long-term survival and a lower risk of heart failure, with no difference in new-onset atrial fibrillation.

Notes to editor

JAMA 2013 ;  310 (6), 609-616
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.