JOURNAL ARTICLE
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The value of transthoracic echocardiography during percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty.

Percutaneous balloon mitral valvuloplasty is a standard alternative to surgery in a selected group of patients with symptomatic dominant rheumatic mitral stenosis. With careful transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiographic selection of patients, there is a low complication and high success rate. Echocardiography has also been established as extremely useful in the long-term follow-up of patients. We present four cases that highlight our view that transthoracic echocardiography should be performed during the procedure, after each balloon inflation, and before and after the intervention. In our experience transthoracic echocardiography during balloon mitral valvuloplasty is invaluable in assessing commissural separation, increasing mitral valve area, new mitral regurgitation, and occasional unexpected anatomic sequelae of balloon inflation.

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