As the mitral valvular apparatus tenses during systole, forces transmitted along the chordae tendineae to the left ventricular chamber may influence left ventricular performance. To test this hypothesis, 10 dogs anesthetized with fentanyl were studied during cardiopulmonary bypass. The importance of the mitral apparatus in left ventricular systolic function was assessed independent of load by means of the slope of the contractile state-dependent left ventricular peak isovolumetric pressure-volume relationship (Emax), which was measured at constant heart rate and aortic pressure with a micromanometer inside a left ventricular intracavitary balloon before and immediately after all chordae tendineae were severed. Herniation of the balloon was prevented by a disk secured to the mitral anulus. Emax decreased from 11.97 +/- 3.35 (+/- SD) to 6.38 +/- 0.96 mm Hg/ml (p less than .001) with chordal severing. The volume intercept (Vo) was unchanged. Fluoroscopic studies of the balloon contour in eight additional dogs revealed dyskinesia in the area of the papillary muscle insertion and substantial alterations in chamber geometry during systole after the chordae were severed. Accordingly, we conclude that global left ventricular systolic performance is impaired when chordal attachments of the mitral valve are disrupted. Changes in left ventricular geometry or loss of inward force normally transmitted to the left ventricular wall as the valve tense may underlie these changes. These findings suggest that postoperative left ventricular dysfunction after mitral valve replacement may be attributable, in part, to excision of the native mitral apparatus at the time of surgery and support efforts to spare chordae during mitral valve surgery.
View details for Web of Science ID A1986C525700028
View details for PubMedID 3698258