During the past 5 years all patients with complete atrioventricular (AV) canal were subjected to surgical correction regardless of age. Thus we were able to assess the ease and reliability of mitral repair in early infancy. Key features of operation include division of bridging leaflets when indicated, selection of a patch sufficiently small to prevent postoperative annular dilatation, attachment of the leaflets to the patch with continuous nonpledget-supported sutures at a level determined by the chordal structure, and, based on the size of the mural leaflet, construction of a bicuspid or tricuspid mitral valve. Operative mortality and postoperative morbidity were no greater in patients under 6 months of age than in older patients. Reoperation for mitral regurgitation was required in three patients. In all of them, the primary reason for the failure of repair was that the mitral valve had been left tricuspid; in two of them, the mitral anulus was dilated, as well. Repair was uniformly accomplished by bicuspidization, combined in two instances with a Wooler-type annuloplasty and shortening of the free margin of the aortic leaflet. The absence of secondary scarring of the leaflets in the patients under 6 months of age facilitated repair in this age group. Early repair is possible, and preferable, provided that meticulous attention is paid to the technical features of the repair and a proper decision is made with regard to treatment of the mitral 'cleft'.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine