A 20-year experience with mitral valve repair with artificial chordae in 608 patients

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Mitral valve repair with artificial chordae for degenerative mitral regurgitation is widely adopted. We evaluated long-term results of mitral repair with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene sutures (GORE-TEX CV-5; W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc, Flagstaff, Ariz).


Between November 1986 and November 2006, 608 consecutive patients underwent mitral repair with artificial neochordae. Mean age was 55 ± 11 years (15-85 years); 433 (71.2%) were male. Valve disease was purely degenerative in 555 patients (91.3%). Prolapse of anterior, posterior, or both leaflets was present in 47 (7.7%), 308 (50.7%), and 253 (41.6%), respectively. Atrial fibrillation was associated in 117 (19.2%). In 125 cases (20.5%), additional surgical procedures were performed. Follow-up was complete at a median of 5.7 years (interquartile range 2.2-9.8 years, range 0-19.4 years).


In-hospital mortality was less than 1% (6 deaths). Overall and cardiac late mortalities were 6.6% and 3.9% (34 and 24 deaths). Kaplan-Meier survival at 15 years was 84% (95% confidence interval 75%-90%). Freedoms from endocarditis, thromboembolic events, reoperation, and recurrent mitral regurgitation at 15 years were 97% (95% confidence interval 93%-99%), 92% (87%-95%), 92% (88%-95%), and 85% (78%-91%), respectively. Sinus rhythm was restored in 75% (33 patients) after surgical atrial fibrillation correction. Calcification of GORE-TEX neochordae was never reported.


Mitral valve repair with GORE-TEX artificial chordae is effective, safe, and associated with low operative mortality and low rates of valve-related complications at long-term follow-up. Artificial chordae showed excellent biologic adaptation, retaining flexibility and tension with time.

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