Vol. 119 No. 1 (2014)
Original Article

Anatomic characteristics of bileaflet mitral valve prolapse - Barlow disease – in patients undergoing mitral valve repair

Published June 27, 2014
  • mitral valve,
  • cardiac surgery
How to Cite
Rostagno, C., Droandi, G., Rossi, A., Bevilacqua, S., Romagnoli, S., Montesi, G. F., & Stefàno, P. L. (2014). Anatomic characteristics of bileaflet mitral valve prolapse - Barlow disease – in patients undergoing mitral valve repair. Italian Journal of Anatomy and Embryology, 119(1), 20-28. Retrieved from https://oajournals.fupress.net/index.php/ijae/article/view/1207


Objective. Barlow disease is a still challenging pathology for the surgeon. Aim of the present study is to report anatomic abnormalities of mitral valve in patients undergoing mitral valve repair. Methods. Between January 1st, 2007, and December 31st, 2010, 85 consecutive patients (54 men and 31 women, mean age 59 ±14 years - range: 28-85 years) with the features of a Barlow mitral valve disease underwent mitral repair Forty seven percent of patients were in New York Heart Association functional class III or IV. Preoperative transesophageal echocardiography was compared with anatomical findings at the moment of surgery.
Results. Transthoracic echocardiography diagnosis of Barlow disease according to the criteria described by Carpentier was confirmed at anatomical inspection. Annular calcifications were found in 28 patients while 7 patients presented single or multiple clefts. A flail posterior mitral leaflet was detected in 32 subjects, while a flail anterior leaflet in 8. Elongation of chordae tendineae was demonstrated in 45 patients and chordal rupture in 31. All patients showed at trans esophageal echocardiography the typical features of Barlow disease. Seventy-seven (90.6%) patients had severe mitral valve regurgitation, in the remaining 9.4% it was moderate to severe. Transesophageal echocardiography failed to identify clefts in 2/7 and chordal rupture in 4/31.
Conclusions. bileaflet prolapse > 2 mm, billowing valve with excess tissue and thickened leaflets ≥ 3 mm, and severe annular dilatation, are characteristics of Barlow disease, however the identification of the associated and complex abnormalities of mitral valve is necessary to obtain optimal valve repair.