Papillary Muscle Approximation Reduces Systolic Tethering Forces and Improves Mitral Valve Closure in the Repair of Functional Mitral Regurgitation


Undersizing mitral annuloplasty (UMA) to repair functional mitral regurgitation lacks durability, as it forces leaflet coaptation without relieving the sub-leaflet tethering forces. In this biomechanical study, we demonstrate that papillary muscle approximation (PMA) prior to UMA can drastically relieve tethering forces and improve valve function, without the need for significant annular downsizing.


An ex vivo model of functional mitral regurgitation (FMR) was used, in which pig mitral valves were geometrically perturbed to induce FMR, and the repairs were performed. Nine pig mitral valves were studied as follows: normal(baseline), functional mitral regurgitation (FMR), true-sized annuloplasty to 30mm (TSR), and undersized annuloplasty to 26mm (DSR); and concomitant papillary muscle approximation (PMA) at both ring sizes. Mitral regurgitation, valve kinematics, and chordal forces were measured and compared between groups.


FMR geometry induced a 16.31±7.33% regurgitant fraction, compared to none at baseline. 30mm/TSR reduced regurgitation to 6.05±5.63% and a 26mm/DSR to 5.06±6.76%. Addition of papillary muscle approximation prior to either rings, reduced regurgitation to 3.87±6.79% with the true sized ring (TSR+PMA), and 3.71±6.25% with the downsized ring (DSR+PMA). Peak anterior and posterior marginal chordal forces were elevated to 0.09±0.1N and 0.12±0.1N respectively with FMR, which were not reduced by annuloplasty of either sizes. Addition of PMA, reduced the forces significantly to 0.23±0.02N and 0.51±0.04N.


This biomechanical study, demonstrates that papillary muscle approximation relieves tethering forces and when added to annuloplasty, and mobilizes the leaflets to achieve a good valve closure. Such a result could be achieved without the need for extensive annular downsizing.


Mitral valve repair; annuloplasty; heart failure; interpapillary muscle separation; ischemic mitral regurgitation; left ventricular remodeling; secondary mitral regurgitation; sub-annular repair.

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