Pitfalls in Clinical Recognition and a Novel Operative Approach for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy With Severe Outflow Obstruction Due to Anomalous Papillary Muscle

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BackgroundVentricular septal myotomy/myectomy (Morrow procedure) is the standard surgical option for severely symptomatic patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and marked basal obstruction to left ventricular outflow due to mitral valve systolic anterior motion. In some patients, however, congenital malformations of the mitral apparatus may be responsible for outflow obstruction; the failure to recognize this morphology before operation could have adverse consequences.Methods and Results-We recently evaluated 2 patients with obstructive HCM operated on at Mayo Medical Center in 1997 who demonstrated direct anomalous papillary muscle insertion into the anterior mitral leaflet, producing muscular midcavity obstruction. This anomaly is potentially identifiable with echocardiography by exaggerated anterior displacement of hypertrophied papillary muscles within the left ventricular cavity and the direct continuity between papillary muscle and anterior leaflet associated with a rigid motion pattern of the mitral apparatus. Echocardiographic diagnosis, however, was confused in both patients by the association of systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve, probably produced by freely mobile margins of the mitral leaflet unencumbered by papillary muscle insertion, and in 1 patient probably representing a second and more basal level of obstruction. Because outflow tract morphology was judged unsuitable for conventional myotomy/myectomy, a novel surgical strategy was designed to remove the outflow gradient in which an extensive myectomy trough (wider at its apical than basal extent) was created within the ventricular septum to papillary muscle level; also, in 1 patient, attachment of anterolateral papillary muscle with the lateral free wall was partially severed to increase mobility of the mitral apparatus. After surgery, both patients reported substantial relief of symptoms and improved exercise tolerance and also showed reduced or abolished basal outflow obstruction.ConclusionsIn HCM, outflow obstruction due to anomalous papillary muscle insertion directly into anterior mitral leaflet is challenging to identify but should always be contemplated before operative intervention. This important (but often unsuspected) congenital malformation may require alternative surgical strategies to standard myotomy/myectomy, similar to those described here. (Circulation. 1998;98:2505-2508.)

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