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Left ventricular outflow tract obstruction (LVOTO) after mitral valve repair by Carpentier's technique has been recently reported in the literature. To assess the mechanisms of this phenomenon, we investigated 307 mitral valve repairs performed between July 1985 and December 1986. Incidence of LVOTO related to the mechanism of the mitral insufficiency and to the etiology demonstrates a direct relation to preoperative mitral valve prolapse (posterior leaflet /- anterior leaflet) of degenerative origin. No LVOTO occurred after rheumatic mitral insufficiency repair regardless of size of the left heart cavities or of the prosthetic ring. Intraoperative and surficial two-dimensional echocardiography, color Doppler methods, and cardiac catheterization were used to investigate the mechanisms leading to LVOTO. Nonspecific modifications induced by reduction in size of the mitral annulus by the prosthetic ring (anterior displacement of the posterior ventricular wall and of the posterior mitral leaflet and narrowing of the mitroaortic angle) are not sufficient to explain the LVOTO. The association of mitral leaflets (composed of excess tissue and opposed to flow by a perpendicular position attributable to a narrow mitroaortic angle) and geometric left ventricular modifications (responsible for the superposition of mitral inflow to ventricular outflow) also qualifies as a mechanism for the induction of LVOTO after mitral surgical repair.

(C) 1988 American Heart Association, Inc.