Calcification and Fibrosis of Mitral Valves: In Vitro Ultrasonic Studies and Clinical Correlations
In the present study, M-mode echocardiography has been used to correlate specific echo patterns produced in vitro by calcified and non-calcified mitral valves with the degree of calcification of the valves. The extent of calcification and fibrosis of each mitral valve was readily determined by gross pathological examination, low-exposure x-rays to maximize differential tissue density resolution, and in 2 valves by microscopic examination. Using these techniques we found that 7 of 9 diseased, surgically excised mitral valves in this series showed evidence of solid, readily identifiable areas of moderate to heavy calcification and diffuse thickening, whereas 2 valves showed zero to trace amounts of either calcium or fibrosis. A tenth valve obtained at autopsy was added to this series and was found to be normal, without calcification or fibrosis, and served as a normal control.