Background: Percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty is known to produce short-term hemodynamic and symptomatic improvement in many patients with mitral stenosis. Comprehensive assessment of the clinical usefulness of balloon valvuloplasty requires evaluation of patients' long-term outcomes.
Methods: We performed balloon mitral valvuloplasty in 146 patients between October 1, 1985, and October 1, 1991. Base-line demographic, clinical, echocardiographic, and hemodynamic variables were evaluated in order to identify predictors of long-term event-free survival.
Results: Balloon mitral valvuloplasty was completed successfully in 136 (93 percent) of the patients in whom the procedure was attempted; it resulted in an increase in the mean (+/- SD) mitral-valve area from 1.0 +/- 0.4 to 2.1 +/- 0.9 cm2 and a decrease in the mean transmitral pressure gradient from 14 +/- 5 to 6 +/- 3 mm Hg (P < 0.001 for both comparisons). The estimated overall five-year survival rate was 76 +/- 5 percent, and the estimated five-year event-free survival rate (the percentage of patients without mitral-valve replacement, repeat valvuloplasty, or death from cardiac causes) was 51 +/- 6 percent. According to multivariate Cox proportional-hazards analysis, the independent predictors of longer event-free survival were a lower mitral-valve echocardiographic score (a measure of mitral-valve deformity; range, 0 for a normal valve to 16 for a seriously deformed valve; P < 0.001), lower left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (P = 0.001), and a lower New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class (P = 0.04). Patients with no risk factors for early restenosis or only one risk factor (echocardiographic score > 8, left ventricular end-diastolic pressure > 10 mm Hg, or NYHA functional class IV) had a predicted five-year event-free survival rate of 60 to 84 percent, whereas patients with two or three risk factors had a predicted five-year event-free survival rate of only 13 to 41 percent.
Conclusions: Balloon mitral valvuloplasty as a treatment for selected patients with mitral stenosis has good long-term results. The long-term outcome after this procedure can be predicted on the basis of patients' base-line characteristics.