Systolic anterior motion of the posterior mitral leaflet: a previously unrecognized cause of dynamic subaortic obstruction in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Dynamic obstruction to left ventricular outflow in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy usually occurs when the anterior mitral leaflet moves forward in systole and approaches or contacts the ventricular septum. However, we have recently identified, by M mode and two-dimensional echocardiography, 21 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who had a unique pattern of mitral valve motion characterized by abnormal mitral valve coaptation and systolic anterior motion of the posterior mitral leaflet. This abnormality of mitral valve motion was most reliably identified with two-dimensional echocardiography in views of the left ventricle obtained from the apex. At end-diastole the anterior and posterior mitral leaflets did not appear to coapt at their distal free margins. Rather, at mitral valve closure, the anterior mitral leaflet contacted the basal portion of posterior mitral leaflet. Subsequently, during systole the "residual" distal portion of posterior mitral leaflet approached or contacted the ventricular septum. Morphologic observations in nine other patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy suggested that systolic anterior motion of the posterior mitral leaflet is due to elongation of the middle scallop of the posterior leaflet, which probably comes into apposition with the ventricular septum during systole by passing through the space created by the normal pattern of chordal attachments onto the anterior mitral leaflet. Of the 16 patients who underwent cardiac catheterization, nine had basal subaortic gradients of 20 to 85 mm Hg, which were apparently due to moderate or marked systolic anterior motion of the posterior mitral leaflet. Ventricular septal myotomy-myectomies were performed in two patients and resulted in markedly diminished systolic anterior motion of the posterior mitral leaflet in each and abolition of subaortic gradient in the one patient who underwent postoperative cardiac catheterization. Hence, in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, systolic anterior motion of the posterior mitral leaflet (1) is not uncommon (identifiable in about 10% of a consecutively studied series of patients), (2) constitutes a previously undescribed mechanism for dynamic subaortic obstruction, and (3) is due to a malformation of the posterior mitral leaflet.
- Copyright © 1983 by American Heart Association