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Mitral valve repair in children with rheumatic heart disease.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the long-term results of mitral valve repair in children with chronic rheumatic heart disease.

METHODS: From January 1988 through December 2003, 278 children (153 male children) underwent mitral valve repair. Mean age was 11.7 +/- 2.9 years (range, 2-15 years). One hundred seventy-three children (62%) were in the New York Heart Association functional class III or IV. Congestive heart failure was present in 24 (8.6%). Reparative procedures included posterior collar annuloplasty (n = 242), commissurotomy (n = 187), cusp-level chordal shortening (n = 94), cusp thinning (n = 71), cleft suture (n = 65), and cusp excision or plication (n = 10). Associated procedures included atrial septal defect closure (n = 22), aortic valve repair/replacement (n = 13), and tricuspid valve repair (n = 3).

RESULTS: Early mortality was 2.2% (6 patients). Preoperative left ventricular dysfunction was associated with greater mortality. Median follow-up was 56.5 months (mean, 58.9. +/- 32.3 months; range, 5 to 180 months). One hundred seventy-seven survivors (65%) had no or trivial mitral regurgitation. Sixteen patients (6%) required reoperation for valve dysfunction. There were 7 late deaths (2.6%). Actuarial, reoperation-free, and event-free survivals at a median follow-up of 56.5 months were 95.2% +/- 1.5%, 91.6% +/- 2.2%, and 55.9% +/- 3.5%, respectively; at 15 years, they were 95.2% +/- 1.5%, 85.9% +/- 5.9%, and 46.7% +/- 4.7%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Mitral valve repair in children with chronic rheumatic heart disease is feasible and provides acceptable long-term results.

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