Anatomic basis for mitral valve modelling

K. S. Kunzelman, R. P. Cochran, E. D. Verrier, R. C. Eberhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


The increasing popularity of mitral valve repair and current interest in replacement with a mitral homograft or heterograft warrant a new look at the normal functional anatomy of the system. We conducted a detailed review of the anatomic structure of both the intact and excised mitral apparatus of porcine and human species. The following intact structural dimensions were measured: total annular length, anterior and posterior annular length. Excised measurements included: total annular length, anterior and posterior annular lengths, leaflet edge lengths, leaflet heights, and anterolateral and posteromedial commissural heights. Leaflet area was calculated from planimetric measurements. Chordal lengths were measured and distribution recorded. The majorify of leaflet measurements were not statistically different between groups. For both groups, the measured annular length increased significantly upon valve excision. In both groups, the posterior leaflet area was significantly larger than the anterior leaflet area, and the area of each leaflet alone was significantly greater than the calculated orifice area. Chordal length was not significantly different between groups, however, distribution varied slightly with the ratio of origins to insertions being 8:1 (porcine) and 5:1 (human). The results are consistent with previous studies of the human mitral valve. This study showed little difference between human and porcine data, and the porcine valve was identified as an appropriate model for further investigation of the mitral valve system. Based on the differences in annular length in intact and excised states, we describe the intact state of the posterior leaflet as 'natural redundancy.' Restoration of this natural redundancy has been a hallmark of successful mitral repair for over 20 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-496
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Heart Valve Disease
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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