The natural history of severe mitral regurgitation (MR) is unfavorable, leading to left ventricular failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, and death. Many patients affected by severe regurgitation (MR) do not currently undergo surgery, mainly due to the perceived risk of the procedure (old age, impaired left ventricular function, and comorbidities). Mitral transcatheter interventions carry the hope of minimizing risks while preserving clinical efficacy of surgical repair, as an alternative to conventional treatment. Multiple technologies and diversified approaches are under development with the purpose of treating MR in less invasive ways. They can be categorized based on the anatomical and patho-physiological addressed target. Among them, MitraClip (Abbott Vascular, Inc., Menlo Park, California) has emerged as a clinically safe and effective method for percutaneous mitral valve repair in patients either with degenerative and functional regurgitation. This device mimics the surgical edge-to-edge repair initially described by Alfieri in the early 1990s. Other repair technologies include percutaneous direct and indirect annuloplasty, neochordae implantation, and left ventricular reshaping. They are still in early phase clinical trials or preclinical studies. The combination of different repair techniques is likely to be required to achieve good long-lasting results. In the future, novel devices, improved knowledge, more efficient imaging, and transcatheter mitral prosthetic valve implantation may expand the indications to those patients currently not treated, as well as improve the results both in terms of early efficacy and long-term durability. These treatments are currently reserved to high-risk and inoperable patients, and their application requires an integrated Heart-Team approach. They represent the natural evolution of surgery and promise to expand treatment options and improve patients' outcomes in the near future.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Molecular Medicine
- Pharmaceutical Science