Long-term mitral valve replacement in young children. Influence of somatic growth on prosthetic valve adequacy.
Long-term clinical and laboratory findings in three children who required mitral valve replacement below age four years are reported. In each instance a second valve replacement was necessary approximately 8 1/2 years after the initial one, following a two and one-half fold increase in body weight. Inadequate mitral valve orifice size was found in each instance, producing a hemodynamic picture equivalent to mitral stenosis: congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and atrial fibrillation. A second valve was placed without mortality in each instance and relieved the mitral valve obstruction. Pulmonary vascular resistance increased postoperatively in two patients and failed to decrease in the third. Pulmonary arterial hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy persisted as long as 13 to 37 months after the second valve placement in all patients. The consequences of increasing body size and the long-term interposition of a rigid prosthesis in a growing heart introduce additional complications to mitral valve replacement in childhood. Frequent hemodynamic observations and the use of a prosthesis other than the ball-cage variety is recommended for improved management.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association