Objective: To analyze the effectiveness of new techniques of mitral valve reconstruction (MVR) that have evolved over the last decade, such as aggressive anterior leaflet repair and minimally invasive surgery using an endoaortic balloon occluder.
Summary background data: MVR via conventional sternotomy has been an established treatment for mitral insufficiency for over 20 years, primarily for the treatment of patients with posterior leaflet prolapse.
Methods: Between June 1980 and June 2001, 1,195 consecutive patients had MVR with ring annuloplasty. Conventional sternotomy was used in 843 patients, minimally invasive surgery in 352 (since June 1996). Anterior leaflet repair was performed in 374 patients, with increasing use over the last 10 years. Follow-up was 100% complete (mean 4.6 years, range 0.5-20.5).
Results: Hospital mortality was 4.7% overall and 1.4% for isolated MVR (1.1% for minimally invasive surgery vs. 1.6% for conventional sternotomy; =.4). Multivariate analysis showed the factors predictive of increased operative risk to be age, NYHA functional class, concomitant procedures, and previous cardiac surgery. The 5-year results for freedom from cardiac death, reoperation, and valve-related complications among the 782 patients with degenerative etiology are, respectively, as follows ( >.05 for all end points): for anterior leaflet repair, 93%, 94%, 90%; for no anterior leaflet repair, 91%, 92%, 91%; for minimally invasive surgery, 97%, 89%, 93%; and for conventional sternotomy, 93%, 94%, 90%.
Conclusions: These findings indicate that late results of MVR after minimally invasive surgery and after anterior leaflet repair are equivalent to those achievable with conventional sternotomy and posterior leaflet repair. These options significantly expand the range of patients suitable for mitral valve repair surgery and give further evidence to support wider use of minimally invasive techniques.