Can an echocardiographic score predict who will benefit clinically from balloon dilation of the mitral valve?
Banning AP., Jones RA., Ikram S., Lewis NP., Hall RJ.
Deciding whether a patient with sub-optimal mitral valve anatomy will benefit from percutaneous mitral valvotomy remains a demanding clinical problem. We assessed the ability of an established echo score applied to transoesophageal images to predict absolute increases in mitral valve area and improvement in exercise capacity. Twenty five consecutive patients undergoing routine percutaneous mitral valvotomy were studied. Changes in exercise tolerance were measured by serial cardiorespiratory treadmill exercise testing. Before the procedure, exercise duration was directly related to mitral valve area (rs = 0.44, P < 0.05). Following percutaneous mitral valvotomy there was an increase in valve area (0.9 +/- 0.2 to 1.4 +/- 0.3 cm2, P < 0.0001) and repeat exercise testing demonstrated increases in exercise duration (470 +/- 220 to 610 +/- 240 s, P < 0.001) and peak VO2 (12.6 +/- 4.2 to 15.1 +/- 4.5 ml/kg/min, P < 0.01). There was an inverse correlation between the echo score and the increase in valve area (rs = -0.52, P < 0.05) but no relationship between the echo score and the increase in exercise duration or peak minute oxygen consumption (VO2). These data demonstrate that a score applied to transoesophageal images echocardiographic images can predict changes in mitral valve area but that the score fails to predict functional improvement for an individual patient. This suggests, therefore, that patients without contraindications to valvotomy whose valves have a high echo score should still be considered for valvotomy as they may benefit considerably from the procedure.