Repair of anterior leaflet mitral valve prolapse: Chordal replacement versus chordal shortening

Michael R. Phillips, Richard C. Daly, Hartzell V. Schaff, Joseph A. Dearani, Charles J. Mullany, Thomas A. Orszulak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Background. To determine the optimal method of repair for severe, segmental anterior leaflet prolapse, we analyzed outcome of 121 patients who underwent chordal shortening (n = 46) and chordal replacement (n = 75) from 1988 to 1996. Methods. Chordae were replaced with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene sutures. Patients had an annuloplasty with either chordal replacement or shortening. Follow-up was 100% complete (mean, 3.7 years). Results. Mean age was 62.1 years, 86 were men, and 60 patients had isolated valve repair. There was one hospital death and 14 late deaths for a 5-year actuarial survival of 86.4% ± 4.5%. Sixteen patients underwent reoperation, 5 in the replacement group and 11 in the shortening group. Mechanism of valve failure in the replacement group was native chordae rupture (n = 4) and neochordae dehiscence (n = 1). With chordal shortening, repair failure was attributed to rupture of shortened chordae (n = 8), leaflet prolapse with and without annuloplasty ring dehiscence (n = 2), and native chordae elongation (n = 1). Risk of reoperation because of repair failure at 3.5 years was 1.4% in the chordal replacement group and 14.8% in the chordal shortening group (p = 0.02). Conclusions. Chordal replacement is superior to chordal shortening, providing a predictable method for correction of mitral regurgitation with a low incidence of reoperation. (C) 2000 by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-29
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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