Skip to Main Content
Pre-surgical planning of mitral valve (MV) repair in patients with Barlow's disease (BD) and fibroelastic deficiency (FED) is challenging due to inability to accurately assess the complexity of MV prolapse. We hypothesized that the etiology of degenerative MV disease (DMVD) could be objectively and accurately determined using morphologic analysis of MV geometry from real-time 3D echocardiographic (RT3DE) images. Seventy-seven patients underwent transesophageal RT3DE study: 57 patients with DMVD studied intra-operatively (28 BD, 29 FED classified during surgery) and 20 patients with normal MV who were used as controls (NL). Parameters of annular dimensions and geometry, and leaflet surface area were measured. Morphologic analysis in the DMVD group revealed a progressive increase in multiple parameters from NL to FED to BD, allowing for accurate diagnosis of these entities. Strongest predictors of the presence of DMVD included billowing height and volume. 3D billowing height with a cutoff value of 1.0 mm differentiated DMVD from NL without overlap, and billowing volume with a cutoff value 1.15 ml differentiated between FED and BD without overlap. Morphologic analysis as a form of decision support of assessing MV billowing revealed significant quantifiable differences between NL, FED and Barlow, allowing accurate classification of the etiology of MV prolapse and determination of the anticipated complexity of repair.