Inoue balloon mitral valvuloplasty: long-term clinical and echocardiographic follow-up of a predominantly unfavourable population

D J Hildick-Smith, G J Taylor, L M Shapiro
European Heart Journal 2000, 21 (20): 1690-7

AIMS: To assess long-term outcome in a typical Western population of predominantly unfavourable patients undergoing Inoue balloon mitral valvuloplasty. Outcome amongst patients has only been undertaken in the medium term. Long-term echocardiographic data in particular are scarce.

METHODS: Inoue mitral valvuloplasty was attempted in 106 patients. There were six technical failures; the procedure was therefore completed in 100 patients, who underwent annual clinical and echocardiographic follow-up.

RESULTS: Patients were aged 63.5+/-10. 3 years. 82% were female. Unfavourable characteristics included age >65 (52%), NYHA class III or IV (87%), >/=1 significant co-morbidity (63%), atrial fibrillation (82%), previous surgical commissurotomy (25%) and echocardiographic score >8 (59%, mean 8.9+/-2.1). Mitral valve area increased from 0.98+/-0.23 to 1.54+/-0.31 cm(2). There were three major complications. Post-procedure, symptoms improved in 88% of patients. Haemodynamic success (mitral valve area increase >50%, final mitral valve area >1.5 cm(2), mitral regurgitation </=grade 2) was achieved in 61% of cases. Mean follow-up was 4.3+/-1. 4 years. Survival was 97%, 88% and 82% at 1, 3 and 6 years. Event-free survival (freedom from death, mitral valve replacement or repeat valvuloplasty) was 96%, 82% and 56% at 1, 3 and 6 years. Freedom from restenosis (loss of >50% gain in mitral valve area, mitral valve area <1.5cm (2)) was 98%, 92% and 75% at 1, 3 and 6 years. Pre-procedural predictors of event-free survival were male sex, absence of co-morbidities, lower echocardiographic score and smaller left atrial diameter.

CONCLUSIONS: In a Western population with predominantly unfavourable characteristics for mitral valvuloplasty, long-term outcome post-procedure is reasonable. A moderate increase in mitral valve area can be achieved at low procedural risk, and the subsequent rate of restenosis is low. Nonetheless, 6 years after the procedure, half of the patients will have required further intervention or died. For fitter patients willing to accept significant operative risk, mitral valve replacement remains a valuable alternative.

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