Reoperation for failure of mitral valve repair

A. M. Gillinov, D. M. Cosgrove*, B. W. Lytle, P. C. Taylor, R. W. Stewart, P. M. McCarthy, N. G. Smedira, D. D. Muehrcke, C. Apperson-Hansen, F. D. Loop, T. E. David, A. F. Carpentier, L. H. Cohn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

141 Scopus citations


Background and Objective: Mitral valve repair is the procedure of choice to correct mitral regurgitation of all types. Up to 10% of patients who undergo mitral valvuloplasty require late reoperation for recurrent mitral valve dysfunction. To determine the causes of failed mitral valve repair, we examined the surgical pathology of patients who underwent reoperation for failed mitral valve repair. Patients and Results: From 1986 to 1994, 81 patients had 86 reoperations for recurrent mitral regurgitation after mitral valve repair. Mean age was 59.2 ± 1.4 years; 55 were men. Primary valve disease was degenerative in 48 patients (59%) rheumatic in 16 (20%), ischemic in 13 (16%), endocarditic in 3 (4%), and congenital in 1 (1%). Mean time interval between initial mitral valve repair and reoperation was 15.6 ± 2.5 months. Causes of repair failure were procedure-related (50 cases, 58%), valve-related (33 cases, 38%), or unknown (3 cases, 3%). Procedure-related valve failure was caused by suture dehiscence (21 cases), rupture of previously shortened chordae (19 cases), or incomplete initial correction (10 cases). Valve-related repair failure was caused by progressive primary valve disease (27 cases), endocarditis (5 cases), or extensive leaflet retraction (1 case). Repair failure was procedure-related in 70% of patients with degenerative valvular disease versus only 13% of patients with rheumatic valvular disease (p = 0.0001). At reoperation, mitral valve replacement was performed in 64 patients (79%) and repeat mitral valve repair in 17 (21%). Conclusion: We conclude that (1) most mitral valve repair failures are procedure-related in degenerative disease and valve-related in rheumatic disease; (2) rupture of previously shortened chordae is a common cause of late failure in patients with degenerative mitral valve disease; and (3) repeat mitral valve repair results in successful treatment for a minority of patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-475
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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