Evaluation of suture techniques for mitral valve replacement.
Although periprosthetic leak is presently uncommon after mitral valve replacement, suture line disruption still occurs and may be significant in some patients. Suture technique is obviously an important factor in preventing disruption, but few authors have examined this variable. The purpose of this study was to determine which of four suture methods for mitral valve replacement maximized prosthetic stability in the mitral anulus. Horizontal mattress sutures with subannular pledgets, horizontal mattress sutures with supra-annular pledgets, figure-of-eight sutures, and interrupted simple sutures were compared. A Carpentier-Edwards sewing ring was sutured to the mitral anulus of intact canine left ventricles, each technique randomly assigned to eight hearts. Suture size, number of bites, and annular depth were maintained constant in all groups. Progressively increasing force was applied across the suture line until disruption occurred. The yield force at initial suture disruption was measured by a semiconductor strain-gauge transducer and defined the experimental end point. Subannular pledget-supported sutures required the greatest force (38.4 +/- 0.8 N) to produce prosthetic dehiscence and were significantly more secure than supra-annular pledgets (32.7 +/- 0.5 N). The two suture techniques in which pledgets were used were better than the nonsupported sutures, the mean yield force averaging 28.3 +/- 0.3 N for figure-of-eight and 21.3 +/- 0.7 N for interrupted simple sutures. Although clinical techniques may vary with prosthetic valve design, surgical preference, or pathological anatomy, this study suggests that horizontal mattress sutures with subannular pledgets provide the best prosthetic valve stability during mitral valve replacement.
Newton, JR; Glower, DD; Davis, JW; Rankin, JS
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