OBJECTIVE To investigate the outcome of mechanical mitral valve replacement in children after up to 11 years of follow up.
DESIGN Retrospective analysis of case records. Operative survivors underwent echocardiographic studies to define current haemodynamic status and prosthetic valve function.
SETTING Tertiary referral centre.
PATIENTS All 54 children who underwent mitral valve replacement between January 1987 and December 1997.
RESULTS 30 day mortality was 20.3% and was associated with small valve size and supra-annular position. The actuarial freedom from the following events at five years (70% confidence interval (CI)) was: death, including 30 day mortality and transplantation, 68% (70% CI 62% to 75%); bleeding, 89% (70% CI 84% to 94%); non-structural valve dysfunction and reoperation, 92% (70% CI 87% to 97%). The incidence of endocarditis and thromboembolism was low and there was no structural valve failure. Event-free survival was 52% (70% CI 45% to 60%). Low weight, young age, and small valve size increased the chance of death or reoperation. On echocardiography, left ventricular dilatation and wall motion abnormalities were often observed. A high mean gradient over the prosthesis was associated with small valve size but not with length of follow up.
CONCLUSIONS With the use of mechanical prostheses for mitral valve replacement in children, the problem of structural valve failure is no longer an issue. However, the procedure is still associated with a high complication rate, both at surgery and during follow up, and should therefore be reserved for patients in whom valve repair is not technically feasible.
- mitral valve replacement
- prosthetic mitral valve
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