Although chordal preserving mitral valve replacement is beneficial to cardiac function, the loss of flexibility of the annulus and consequent transfational motion of the valve prosthesis during systole may cause potential left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) obstruction after surgery. The extent of the flexibility of the mitral valve annulus (MVA) necessary for the prosthetic valve to prevent potential LVOT obstruction was determined. The three dimensional images of the MVA at 0, 100, 200, and 300 msec delay from the electrocardiogram R wave were reconstructed from cinemode magnetic resonance images in eight normal subjects. In the lateral view of the MVA, the dorsal flexion angle (DFA) was defined. This angle implies the extent of the flexion of the anterior half of the MVA in relation to the posterior half. The data (mean $$ SD) for the DFA were 31.7 ± 5.4 degrees (0 msec), 36.4 ± 4.5 degrees (100 msec), 39.0 ± 3.8 degrees (200 msec), and 43.6 ± 2.6 degrees (300 msec), whereas the systolic increase in DFA was 11.9 ± 3.2 degrees. The flexibility observed in normal mitral annuli is relevant to prosthetic mitral valves.
© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.