European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery, 24 April 2020 A structured approach to native mitral valve infective endocarditis: Is repair better than replacement? Defauw RJ, Tomšič A, van Brakel TJ, Marsan NA, Klautz RJM, Palmen M


Mitral valve repair in native active infective endocarditis is technically challenging. The survival benefit over valve replacement is poorly established and possibly absent because of the high risk of repair failure and reoperation. In this study, we explore the results of our structured approach in these patients.


Between January 2000 and January 2017, 149 patients underwent surgery for native mitral infective endocarditis. Among them, 97 (66%) patients underwent valve repair and 52 (34%) underwent valve replacement. Our structured approach consisted of early surgery, radical resection of infected tissue, liberal use of prosthetic materials and 'patch' repair techniques. A critical assessment of expected repair durability was made intraoperatively and repair was not performed if concerns of long-term durability existed. To study the effects of valve repair on overall survival, landmark analysis was performed.


In-hospital mortality was 15.4% (14 repair vs 9 replacement patients; P = 0.642). There were no residual infective endocarditis cases or early reoperations. On Cox proportional hazards analysis, valve replacement was not inferior to repair within 1-year post-surgery [hazard ratio (HR) 1.134, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.504-2.540; P = 0.76]. Beyond 1 year post-surgery, replacement was associated with decreased survival (HR 2.534, 95% CI 1.002-6.406; P = 0.049). There were no differences in freedom from recurrent infective endocarditis (P = 0.47) and mitral valve reintervention (P = 0.52).


Active mitral valve endocarditis remains a complex disease with significant early and late morbidity and mortality. A structured approach allows valve repair in two-thirds of patients. Clinical results could be improved by focussing on early surgery, prior to extensive valve destruction, to enable durable repairs and improve late outcomes.

Keywords: Mitral valve replacement, infective endocarditis, Mitral Valve Repair

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2020 Apr