Santa Claus in the Echo Lab
A 79-year-old man with mitral valve prolapse of both leaflets and consecutive severe symptomatic mitral regurgitation underwent central double-orifice repair, the so-called “Alfieri stitch” operation. With this technique, a double-orifice mitral valve is artificially created by approximating the free edges of the leaflets at the site of the regurgitation with a suture. This is a technically simple, rapidly feasible operation that can be performed even in the presence of complex anatomical lesions. The further postoperative course of the patient was uneventful. The echocardiographic examination 3 months later showed only a mild residual mitral regurgitation and an image, unique to this operation, mimicking the face of Santa Claus in the parasternal short axis view (Figure 1).
The editor of Images in Cardiovascular Medicine is Hugh A. McAllister, Jr, MD, Chief, Department of Pathology, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital and Texas Heart Institute, and Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of Texas Medical School and Baylor College of Medicine.
Circulation encourages readers to submit cardiovascular images to the Circulation Editorial Office, St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital/Texas Heart Institute, 6720 Bertner Ave, MC1-267, Houston, TX 77030.