Ischemic mitral regurgitation (IMR) is a major source of morbidity and mortality. Although mitral valve repair has become recently popularized for the treatment of IMR, select patients may derive benefits from replacement. The purpose of this review is to describe current surgical options for IMR and to discuss when mitral valve replacement (MVR) may be favored over mitral valve repair.
Current surgical options for the treatment of IMR include surgical revascularization alone, mitral valve repair, or MVR. Although surgical revascularization alone may benefit patients with mild–moderate IMR, most surgeons advocate the performance of revascularization in combination with either mitral valve repair or replacement. In the current era, mitral valve repair has proven to offer improved short-term and long-term survival, decreased valve-related morbidity, and improved left ventricular function compared with MVR. However, MVR should be considered for high-risk patients and those with specific underlying mechanisms of IMR.
In the absence of level one evidence, mitral valve repair offers an effective and durable surgical approach to the treatment of mitral insufficiency and remains the operation of choice for IMR. MVR, however, is preferred for select patients. Future randomized, prospective clinical trials are needed to directly compare these surgical techniques.
Division of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA
Correspondence to Irving L. Kron, MD, Professor of Surgery, Chairman, Division of Thoracic Cardiovascular Surgery, Department of Surgery, PO Box 800679, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA E-mail: email@example.com