OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of the chordae tendineae force distribution on systolic mitral leaflet geometry and mitral valve competence in vitro. BACKGROUND: Functional mitral regurgitation is caused by changes in several elements of the valve apparatus. Interaction among these have to comply with the chordal force distribution defined by the chordal coapting forces (F(C)) created by the transmitral pressure difference, which close the leaflets and the chordal tethering forces (F(T)) pulling the leaflets apart. METHODS: Porcine mitral valves (n = 5) were mounted in a left ventricular model where leading edge chordal forces measured by dedicated miniature force transducers were controlled by changing left ventricular pressure and papillary muscle position. Chordae geometry and occlusional leaflet area (OLA) needed to cover the leaflet orifice for a given leaflet configuration were determined by two- dimensional echo and reconstructed three-dimensionally. Occlusional leaflet area was used as expression for incomplete leaflet coaptation. Regurgitant fraction (RF) was measured with an electromagnetic flowmeter. RESULTS: Mixed procedure statistics revealed a linear correlation between the sum of the chordal net forces, Σ[F(C) - F(T)](s), and OLA with regression coefficient (minimum - maximum) beta = 115 to -65 [mm2/N]; p < 0.001 and RF (beta = - 0.06 to -0.01 [%/N]; p < 0.001). Increasing F(T) by papillary muscle malalignment restricted leaflet mobility, resulting in a tented leaflet configuration due to an apical and posterior shift of the coaptation line. Anterior leaflet coapting forces increased due to mitral leaflet remodeling, which generated a nonuniform regurgitant orifice area. CONCLUSIONS: Altered chordal force distribution caused functional mitral regurgitation based on tented leaflet configuration as observed clinically.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine