Long-term echocardiographic evaluation of closed and open mitral valvulotomy.
From 1968 to 1989, 280 patients with post-rheumatic pure mitral stenosis underwent surgical commissurotomy; 134 a closed and 146 an open technique. Follow-up exceeded 15 years in 56.7% of the patients. Echocardiographic analysis was performed in 120 patients and disclosed a larger mitral valve area in patients who underwent open valvulotomy (1.9 +/- 0.5 cm2 vs. 1.5 +/- 0.4 cm2 for the closed technique, P < 0.0002). On the other hand, considering the occurrence of post-surgical mitral regurgitation at a level greater than, or equal to moderate, open valvulotomy produced less favorable results (18.5% vs. 5% for the closed technique, P < 0.01)