Do Patients With Less Than 'Echo-Perfect' Results From Mitral Valve Repair by Intraoperative Echocardiography Have a Different Outcome?

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Not all valve repairs for mitral regurgitation (MR) have a perfect result, with no MR on postpump intraoperative echocardiography. Although more than 2+ MR by postpump echocardiography has led to second pump runs for further surgery in 6% to 8% of our patients, those left with 1+ or 2+ MR, traditionally an acceptable result, have not previously been evaluated for clinical outcome.

Methods and Results

Among 530 patients undergoing mitral repair during 1987 to 1989, 76 patients with 1+ or 2+ MR by postpump intraoperative echocardiography were compared with 76 patients who had equivalent age, sex, left ventricular function, and concomitant surgery but who had no MR by postpump echo. In-hospital morbidity measured by the frequency of respiratory complications, strokes, time in intensive care unit, and duration of hospital stay was actually higher in the patients with no MR after repair. Hospital mortality was not significantly different. There were no significant differences in posthospital mortality (4-year survival estimate of 86% in both groups), thromboembolic events, hospitalizations for heart failure, or functional class, although more patients in the group with no MR after repair were using diuretics. There was a trend toward more reoperations in patients with 1+ or 2+ MR compared with those with no MR by intraoperative echocardiography after repair (4-year estimates of freedom from reoperation, 83% versus 94%; adjusted risk ratio, 3.30). Conclsions. The presence of 1+ or 2+ MR by postpump intraoperative echocardiography does not confer increased morbidity or mortality. However, the trend toward more reoperations suggests the need for close follow-up for possible recurrence of MR. These data support our low threshold for performing further surgery during second pump runs.

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