, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 2171-2180
Date: 01 May 2013

Mechanics of the Mitral Annulus in Chronic Ischemic Cardiomyopathy

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Abstract

Approximately one third of all patients undergoing open-heart surgery for repair of ischemic mitral regurgitation present with residual and recurrent mitral valve leakage upon follow up. A fundamental quantitative understanding of mitral valve remodeling following myocardial infarction may hold the key to improved medical devices and better treatment outcomes. Here we quantify mitral annular strains and curvature in nine sheep 5 ± 1 weeks after controlled inferior myocardial infarction of the left ventricle. We complement our marker-based mechanical analysis of the remodeling mitral valve by common clinical measures of annular geometry before and after the infarct. After 5 ± 1 weeks, the mitral annulus dilated in septal-lateral direction by 15.2% (p = 0.003) and in commissure-commissure direction by 14.2% (< 0.001). The septal annulus dilated by 10.4% (p = 0.013) and the lateral annulus dilated by 18.4% (p < 0.001). Remarkably, in animals with large degree of mitral regurgitation and annular remodeling, the annulus dilated asymmetrically with larger distortions toward the lateral-posterior segment. Strain analysis revealed average tensile strains of 25% over most of the annulus with exception for the lateral-posterior segment, where tensile strains were 50% and higher. Annular dilation and peak strains were closely correlated to the degree of mitral regurgitation. A complementary relative curvature analysis revealed a homogenous curvature decrease associated with significant annular circularization. All curvature profiles displayed distinct points of peak curvature disturbing the overall homogenous pattern. These hinge points may be the mechanistic origin for the asymmetric annular deformation following inferior myocardial infarction. In the future, this new insight into the mechanism of asymmetric annular dilation may support improved device designs and possibly aid surgeons in reconstructing healthy annular geometry during mitral valve repair.

Associate Editor Jane Grande-Allen oversaw the review of this article.