Quality of life of elderly patients following valve surgery for chronic organic mitral regurgitation

Francesco Maisano, Giorgio Viganò, Chiara Calabrese, Maurizio Taramasso, Paolo Denti, Andrea Blasio, Andrea Guidotti, Ottavio Alfieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Mitral valve surgery for organic mitral regurgitation (MR) in the elderly has been debated. In the elderly, quality of life is a better indicator of surgical success than survival. We assessed quality of life of elderly patients submitted to surgery for MR using the Minnesota Living with Heart Failure (MLHF) questionnaire. Methods: Between August 2003 and August 2006, 225 consecutive patients >70 years old underwent surgical treatment of organic MR. Mean age was 77 ± 3.3 years (range 71-87 years). Mean EF was 50 ± 11%. Degenerative disease was the most prevalent (77%) etiology. CABG was associated in 25% of patients. Mean Charlson score was 4.3 ± 1.5 and 101 patients (45%) were NYHA class III and IV. Hospital survivors were followed up and quality of life by MLHF score was assessed. Results: Mitral repair and replacement were equally distributed in this population. Hospital mortality was 2.7%. Late survival was 91 ± 1.9% at 3 years. MLHF was obtained from 204 patients at mean 2 ± 1 years of follow-up. MLHF score was 38 ± 18; there were 135 (66%) patients with MLHF >30. MLHF tended to increase with age at follow-up (p = 0.007). Multivariable predictors of MLHF were preoperative atrial fibrillation (p = 0.019), diabetes (p = 0.03), higher creatinine level (p = 0.0009), higher EuroSCORE (p = 0.02), residual mitral regurgitation grade at follow-up echocardiography (p <0.0001) and systolic pulmonary artery pressure at follow-up (p = 0.04). Type of surgical treatment (repair vs replacement and choice of prosthesis) did not predict MLHF at follow-up, although those who had recurrent MR after repair had the highest scores compared to patients who had repair and durable result and those treated by replacement (MLHF was 51 ± 21, vs 34 ± 16, vs 39 ± 18, respectively, p = 0.0013). Conclusions: Quality of life following mitral valve surgery is suboptimal in more than half of elderly patients. MLHF score at follow-up is mostly related to preoperative conditions. Type of surgery does not influence MLHF score, however, quality of life is worse in patients with recurrent/residual MR following repair.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • Mitral regurgitation
  • Mitral valve repair
  • Mitral valve replacement
  • Mitral valve surgery
  • Quality of life
  • Surgery in the elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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