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Research Letter
January 2017

Association of Uneven MitraClip Application and Leaflet Stress in a Finite Element Model

Author Affiliations
  • 1UCSF East Bay Surgical Residency, San Francisco, California
  • 2Division of Cardiac Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco
  • 3San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, California
  • 4Department of Cardiology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles
  • 5Departments of Surgery and Bioengineering, University of California, San Francisco
  • 6Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, NYU School of Medicine, New York, New York
  • 7Departments of Medicine (Cardiology) and Radiology, Weill Cornell College of Medicine, New York, New York
  • 8Departments of Surgery and Bioengineering, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Surg. 2017;152(1):111-114. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2016.3360

The MitraClip (Abbott Laboratories) is a percutaneous device for mitral valve (MV) repair, connecting the anterior and posterior leaflets of the mitral valve to eliminate mitral regurgitation (MR). Durability of MitraClip repair is an issue, with a 44% recurrence rate of grade 3 to 4 or higher MR within 2 years of clipping.1 Uneven MitraClip application is a common occurrence, with more posterior than anterior leaflet tissue grasped by the clip.2 To determine whether uneven clipping plays a role in MR recurrence, we investigated the effect of uneven clipping on leaflet stress, which is implicated in repair failure. Leaflets excised after failed MitraClip show significant tissue damage, including large perforations3; furthermore, in vitro studies have shown that increased leaflet stress alters collagen and proteoglycan synthesis, resulting in leaflet thickening and increased compliance.4,5 Leaflet stress after uneven clip application has not been previously studied. To determine whether uneven clipping contributes to increased stress and, therefore, to repair failure, we simulated a variety of MitraClip grasps, testing the hypothesis that uneven grasp does not increase leaflet stress.

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