Semirigid partial annuloplasty band allows dynamic mitral annular motion and minimizes valvular gradients: An echocardiographic study

Ram Sharony, Paul C. Saunders, Ambika Nayar, Eileen McAleer, Aubrey C. Galloway, Julie Delianides, Charles F. Schwartz, Robert M. Applebaum, Itzhak Kronzon, Stephen B. Colvin, Eugene A. Grossi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Traditional mitral annuloplasty devices include both rigid rings, which restrict annular motion, and soft rings and bands, which can locally deform. Conflicting data exist regarding their impact on annular dynamics. We studied mitral annuloplasty with a semirigid partial band and with a nearly complete rigid ring. Methods. Intraoperative three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiograms (n = 14) and predischarge transthoracic echocardiograms were retrospectively analyzed in patients undergoing mitral valve repair for degenerative disease with either a rigid ring (n = 77) or a semirigid partial band (n = 38). Each transesophageal echocardiogram was analyzed with TomTec three-dimensional software to produce cardiac cycle frame planimetry and to measure device geometry. Actual device sizes provided reference dimensions. Blinded analysis of Doppler data from transthoracic echocardiograms was performed. Results. Validation of the quantitative transesophageal echocardiogram methodology revealed a 1.3% ± 0.3% (mean ± standard error of the mean) underestimation of actual linear dimension. With the semirigid partial band, systolic valve orifice area and intertrigonal distance decreased from 6.14 ± 0.37 to 5.55 ± 0.24 cm2 (-9.6%; p = 0.01) and from 2.69 ± 0.08 to 2.55 ± 0.13 cm (-5.2%; p = 0.03), respectively. Systolic anterior-posterior distance decreased from 2. 1 ± 0.10 to 1.95 ± 0.06 cm (-7.1%; p = 0.01) compared with diastole. In contrast, rigid ring orifice area was unchanged (4.12 ± 0. 15 to 4.10 ± 0.16 cm2; -0.5%; p = 0.48) during the cardiac cycle. Transthoracic echocardiography revealed significantly lower mitral inflow gradients with semirigid partial band (mean gradients compared with rigid ring, 4.0 ± 0.3 versus 5.0 ± 0.3 mm Hg; p = 0.02; peak gradients, 8.9 ± 0.5 versus 11.1 ± 0.5 mm Hg; p = 0.01). Conclusions. Three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiographic measurements of annular dynamics are valid and reliable when discrete annuloplasty devices are present. In contrast to the rigid ring, the semirigid partial band permits more physiologic geometric changes and is associated with lower postoperative mitral valve gradients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-522
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


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