Conservative Operation for Infective Endocarditis of the Mitral Valve

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Subvalvular preservation is necessary to maintain left ventricular function, but accidental retention of infected tissue could cause postoperative endocarditis.


We examined 71 consecutive patients who underwent operation for mitral endocarditis. Endocarditis was uncontrolled and active in 24 patients, partially treated (unfinished antibiotic course) in 17, and healed in 30.


Valves were repaired in 17% versus 59% versus 63% and replaced with subvalvular preservation in 25% versus 6% versus 3% of the uncontrolled active, partially treated, and healed groups, respectively. Thirty-day mortality was 29% versus 0% versus 3.3% (p = 0.003), total mortality was 46% versus 18% versus 17% (p = 0.035), and complications-related mortality was 38% versus 11% versus 13% (p = 0.054), respectively. There was a trend toward lower complications-related mortality with subvalvular preservation than without. Postoperative endocarditis occurred in 3 of 30 patients without and 1 of 41 patients with subvalvular preservation.


Postoperative mortality in uncontrolled active mitral endocarditis remains high, but results are good with partially treated or healed endocarditis. Subvalvular preservation improves outcome, does not increase postoperative endocarditis rates, and should be performed whenever feasible.

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