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    Valve Prosthesis Beats Repair for 2-Year Durability in Severe Ischemic MR

    Two-year outcomes from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–sponsored Cardiac Surgery Clinical Research Network (CTSN) trial suggest that patients with severe ischemic mitral regurgitation (MR) fare just as well when the valve is repaired or replaced, at least when it comes to measures of left ventricular reverse remodeling and survival, but that replacing the mitral valve provides a more durable correction of MR[1].

    Presenting the results of the CTSN trial here at the American Heart Association (AHA) 2015 Scientific Sessions, the researchers reported no significant difference in the mean left ventricular end-systolic volume index (LVESVI) among 251 patients randomized to mitral-valve repair or chordal-sparing mitral-valve replacement.

    In addition, there was no mortality advantage with either approach. The 2-year mortality rate was 19.0% in the repair arm and 23.2% in the replacement group, a difference that was not statistically significant (hazard ratio 0.79; 95% CI 0.46–1.35).

    Despite the equivocal results, investigators, including lead researcher Dr Daniel Goldstein (Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York), did observe significantly higher recurrence rates among patients who underwent surgical repair. At 2 years, 59% of patients in the repair arm and 3.8% in the replacement arm were diagnosed with moderate or severe MR (P<0.001).

    "Recurrence was rather striking," said Goldstein during a press conference announcing the results. "Interestingly, most of the recurrences were moderate, were not severe."

    This difference in MR translated into a significantly increased risk of heart failure at 2 years among patients undergoing mitral-valve repair (24.0% vs 15.2% in the repair and replacement arms, respectively; P=0.05) as well as an increased readmission rate to hospital for cardiovascular causes (48.3% vs 32.2%, respectively; P=0.01).

    There was no difference in the total readmissions to the hospital between groups," said Goldstein. "However, if you look at just cardiovascular readmissions, there was a striking difference, with repair patients requiring many more heart-failure readmissions than replacement patients. What were those heart-failure readmissions for? They were for true heart failure or for the placement of an ICD or biventricular pacers, which in essence are also heart-failure readmissions because the people who are getting those technologies are people with advanced heart failure."


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