Heart 100:500-507 doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2013-304783
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Original article

Mitral valve prosthesis choice for patients aged 65 years and over in the UK. Are the guidelines being followed and does it matter?

Editor's Choice
  1. Ben Bridgewater1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, University of Manchester, University Hospital of South Manchester, Manchester, UK
  2. 2University College London, National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research, Institute of Cardiovascular Science, London, UK
  3. 3Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Centre for Health Informatics, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  4. 4Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK
  5. 5Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton University Hospital Trust, Southampton, UK
  6. 6Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal Brompton Hospital, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  7. 7Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Papworth Hospital, NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ben Bridgewater, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital of South Manchester, Southmoor Road, Manchester M23 9LT, UK; ben.bridgewater{at}
  • Received 7 August 2013
  • Revised 12 November 2013
  • Accepted 17 November 2013
  • Published Online First 17 December 2013


Objective Current guidelines recommend that most patients aged ≥65 years should undergo mitral valve replacement (MVR) using a biological prosthesis. The objectives of this study were to assess whether these guidelines are being followed in UK practice, and to investigate whether the guidelines are appropriate based on in-hospital mortality and mid-term survival.

Methods Data from the National Institute for Cardiovascular Outcomes Research Adult Cardiac Surgery Audit database from all National Health Service (NHS) hospitals and some private hospitals performing adult cardiac surgery in the UK between April 2001 and March 2011 were analysed. The overall cohort included 3862 patients aged ≥65 years who underwent first-time MVR. Propensity score matching and regression adjustment were used to compare outcomes between prosthesis groups.

Results The mean age was 73.0 years (SD 4.9) with 50% of patients having surgery with a mechanical prosthesis. This proportion decreased over the study period and with increasing patient age with marked variation between hospitals. In the propensity-matched cohort, in-hospital mortality in the biological group was 6.9%, and in the mechanical group it was 5.9% giving an unadjusted OR of 1.17 (95% CI 0.84 to 1.63). There was no significant difference in mid-term survival between the matched groups with an unadjusted HR for biological prosthesis of 1.08 (95% CI 0.93 to 1.24). Similar results were found when using regression adjustment on unmatched data.

Conclusions Current guidelines concerning age and mitral valve prosthesis choice are not being followed for patients aged ≥65 years. With regards to in-hospital and mid-term mortality, this study demonstrates that there is no difference between prosthesis types.