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The lottery of mitral valve repair surgery
  1. Anelechi C Anyanwu1,
  2. Benjamin Bridgewater2,
  3. David H Adams1
  1. 1Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor David H Adams, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mount Sinai Medical Center, 1190 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029, USA; david.adams{at}


Valve repair, where feasible, rather than valve replacement is the guideline recommended treatment for severe mitral regurgitation. To characterise ‘real-world’ clinical practice data were reviewed on 12 255 mitral valve operations performed in the UK between 2004 and 2008, as reported in the 2009 UK Adult Cardiac Surgical Database Report. The data demonstrate a large variation in the use of mitral valve repair; while the national repair rate was 51%, this varied from 20% to 90% among different hospitals. Outcomes were worse in patients who had valve replacement as opposed to repair, including a higher risk of operative mortality and stroke, in all subgroups examined. Some patients were, by virtue of the hospitals they attend, therefore, less likely to survive and more likely to have complications, because of a low use of valve repair in those centres. Concentration of mitral valve surgery in designated regional reference centres should allow more equitable access to mitral valve repair.

  • Surgery-valve
  • delivery of care
  • mitral regurgitation

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  • Competing interests DHA has consultancy agreements and receives royalties from Edwards Life Sciences.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.