Valve endocarditis, to repair or not to repair, is that really the question?

M. Di Mauro*, G. Bonalumi, A.M. Calafiore, R. Lorusso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review


The meta-analysis by He et al. has the worth to cover, as much as possible, a gap of scientific evidence were conducting a randomized trial appears very complex for ethical and logistical reasons. The authors concluded that mitral valve repair (MVP) provides better-pooled results, both early and late, with respect to mitral valve replacement. However, the superiority of MVP is driven by some single large cohort studies where surgeons had wide experience in the field of MVP for infective endocarditis. This finding is also confirmed by other studies. But if mitral repair produces such a better short- and long-term survival than replacement, why are there no clear indications from consensus and guidelines pushing surgeons toward the pursuit of a reconstructive procedure at almost any cost? We wonder to repair or not to repair, is that really the question? The AATS consensus suggests repairing "whenever possible" but without providing more specific indications. If the two primary goals of surgery are total removal of infected tissues and reconstruction of cardiac morphology, including repair or replacement of the affected valve(s), probably MVP should be performed in case of less extensive tissue detriment by the infection. In more wide valve involvement, MVP may be the choice but only in very expert hands and in Centers with a very large volumes of valve repairing. This decision cannot, therefore, be the result of the choice of an individual but must derive from a careful multidisciplinary discussion to be held in an EndoTeam.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1016-1018
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date13 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • infective endocarditis
  • mitral valve repair
  • mitral valve replacement


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