Accurate Localization of Mitral Regurgitant Defects Using Multiplane Transesophageal Echocardiography

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Abstract

Background.

Appropriate patient selection for surgical repair of the mitral valve depends on the specific location and mechanism of regurgitation, which, in turn, has necessitated a more detailed method to accurately describe mitral pathology. This study tests a strategy of using multiplane transesophageal echocardiography to systematically localize mitral regurgitant defects and compares these results with the surgical findings.

Methods.

Fifty patients with mitral regurgitation underwent intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography for the evaluation of mitral pathology and potential repair. Mitral regurgitant defects were localized using a systematic strategy and a simple nomenclature that divides each mitral valve into six sections (three sections per leaflet) and each prosthetic sewing ring into six sections (60 radial degrees = one section).

Results.

Thirty-nine patients with native mitral valves were studied, for a total of 234 sections evaluated. Eighty-seven of these sections contained regurgitant defects by transesophageal echocardiography (mean number of regurgitant defects per valve, 2.2; range, 1 through 6). There was agreement between the transesophageal echocardiographic and surgical localizations in 96% (224/234; p < 0.0001) of the sections. Eleven patients with prosthetic mitral valves were studied, for a total of 66 sections evaluated. Twenty-three of these sections contained paravalvular leaks by transesophageal echocardiography (mean number of leaks per prosthesis, 2.1; range, 1 through 6). There was agreement between the transesophageal echocardiographic and surgical localizations in 88% (58/66; p < 0.001) of the sections.

Conclusions.

This transesophageal echocardiographic strategy provides a systematic method to accurately localize mitral regurgitant lesions and has the potential to improve the preoperative assessment of patients with significant mitral regurgitation.

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