Repair or replace for severe ischemic mitral regurgitation: prospective randomized multicenter data
Ischemic mitral regurgitation (IMR) is a subset of functional mitral regurgitation (MR) that has the potential to impact an increasing number of patients in the future. This is in the context of a worldwide population, which continues to live longer with improved survival after myocardial infarction. Substantial data have accumulated over the past few decades demonstrating the negative effects of IMR. Further, significant research has been done to define the optimal surgical approach and several studies have compared mitral repair versus replacement for patients with severe mitral regurgitation (SMR). Studies supporting performance of mitral repair cite superior operative morbidity and mortality rates, while proponents of mitral replacement cite improved long-term durability and correction of MR. Lack of clinically robust Level I randomized controlled trial data have curtailed attempts to better define appropriate surgical treatment allocation over the past few decades. Recently, however, the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN) conducted the first randomized controlled trial, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke and the Canadian Institute for Health Research, to compare the performance of mitral repair versus replacement for SMR. Herein, the present review describes the design, results and implications of the CTSN SMR trial and its efforts to identify the most efficacious surgical approach to SMR. This review also describes CTSN investigation to predict the recurrence of MR after mitral repair.