Evaluation of mitral stenosis in 2008

David Messika-Zeitoun, Bernard Lung, Éric Brochet, Dominique Himbert, Jean Michel Serfaty, Jean Pierre Laissy, Alec Vahanian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Percutaneous mitral valve commissurotomy (PMC) is the treatment of choice for patients with mitral stenosis (MS) and favorable anatomy. Evaluation of MS should answer two questions: is MS severe? And is the valve suitable for PMC? Evaluation of MS severity relies on accurate echocardiographic assessment of the mitral valve area (MVA). Several methods can be used, often in combination. The planimetry is the reference method but must be precisely performed at the tips of the leaflets in a well-oriented plane and thus requires experienced operators. New imaging technologies, such as 3D-echocardiography, MRI or computed tomography may reduce planimetry's operator dependence. The pressure half-time method (PHT) has the merit of simplicity but should be used cautiously in elderly patients or those in atrial fibrillation. It is invalid immediately after PMC but can still be used as a semiquantitative method: a PHT less than 130 msec is associated with a good valve opening with an excellent specificity and positive predictive value whereas a PHT 130 msec does not allow any conclusion. The continuity equation, easy to perform, may be invalidated by the commonly associated aortic or mitral regurgitation or in case of atrial fibrillation. The PISA method, is reputed technically challenging and requires a direct measurement of angle between the mitral leaflets, although the use of a fixed value of 100° provides an accurate MVA estimation. The main indication of transesophageal echocardiography is the exclusion of left atrial thrombus, which is a contra-indication to PMC as well as a 2/4 or greater mitral regurgitation grade. Two-dimensional-echocardiography allows detailed evaluation of valve morphology, including leaflet thickness and mobility, degree and localization of calcifications, extent of the subvalvular involvement. Unfavorable valve anatomy is associated with a lower rate of PMC success and lower event-free survival. However, given the low predictive value of all anatomic scores, the decision to perform or not the procedure should be based on a global approach taking into account not only the valve anatomy but also individual patients characteristics such as age, rhythm, NYHA class, MVA and the predicted operative mortality based on associated comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-663
Number of pages11
JournalArchives of Cardiovascular Diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Mitral stenosis
  • Mitral valve area
  • Mitral valve morphology
  • Percutaneous mitral valve commissurotomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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