Ring annuloplasty is the gold standard of surgical repair in degenerative mitral valve disease. However, prosthetic annuloplasty has some drawbacks and potential hazards. Suture annuloplasty theoretically is able to preserve annular leaflet dynamics and left ventricular performance, but experience is limited. The aim of the study was to review the early and long-term outcome of the posterior double-suture annuloplasty (DSA) technique for degenerative mitral valve repair.
From January 2002 to December 2008, 400 patients underwent primary mitral valve repair for degenerative disease either with posterior DSA [n = 147 (37%)] or with flexible posterior annuloplasty band [n = 253 (63%)]. Differences in patient characteristics were addressed by propensity-score matching (132 pairs). A composite end-point of mitral valve failure (MVF) was calculated as the incidence of mitral valve regurgitation greater than 2+ or need for mitral valve replacement at follow-up.
After propensity-score matching, the distribution of preoperative variables among matched pairs was, on average, equal. Isolated annuloplasty and leaflet repair techniques were similarly performed in both groups (P = 0.20). In-hospital mortality was comparable between the two study groups (P = 0.48). Predischarge echocardiography showed excellent results regarding valve hemodynamics (P = 0.71). At a mean follow-up of 11 ± 3 years, all-cause mortality (P = 0.12), need for mitral valve replacement (P = 0.49), and cardiac re-hospitalization rate (P = 0.57) resulted comparable between the two groups. Ten-year survival (75 vs. 71%, P = 0.51) and freedom from MVF (92 vs. 84%, P = 0.39) were similar between posterior annuloplasty band and DSA groups.
Suture annuloplasty demonstrated comparable results with posterior flexible band repair and could be a viable option for mitral valve surgery in selected patients, such as in the minimally invasive approach, in endocarditis, and in developing countries.