Newswise — NEW YORK (November 9, 2015) – Ischemic mitral regurgitation (IMR) – or the leakage of blood backward through the valve and into the heart – affects more than 2 million Americans, and can increase a patient’s risk for adverse cardiovascular events and even death. While there is no definitive treatment for IMR, patients may be treated with mitral valve repair or valve replacement. In a study presented today at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2015, and published in this week’s issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, a team of researchers from the Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network (CTSN) found that recipients of a mitral valve replacement for IMR experienced a lower rate of heart failure and fewer cardiovascular-related hospital readmissions in the two years following surgery.

“We evaluated clinical outcomes as well as echocardiographic data to compile the results of the trial,” said Daniel Goldstein, M.D., professor and vice chairman of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and first author of the study. “It is clear from these findings that after a two-year post-surgery period, there is no difference in left ventricular reverse remodeling or survival between patients who received mitral valve repair and those who received valve replacement. There was more recurrence of the leaking of the valve, however, in the repair group, which led to more heart failure adverse events and more cardiovascular readmissions.”

The Cardiothoracic Surgical Trials Network, which includes the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Montefiore Einstein Center for Heart and Vascular Care and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, among others, followed 251 patients over a two-year postoperative period, and compared mitral valve repair to valve replacement for treating IMR. At 22 clinical centers, researchers assessed the degree of a patient’s left ventricular reverse remodeling – the improved function of the left ventricle – by monitoring left ventricular end systolic volume index – the amount of blood left in the ventricle following a heartbeat. At the end of the two-year period, patients were also evaluated for the occurrence of stroke, subsequent mitral valve surgery, heart failure, re-hospitalization, recurrent regurgitation, quality of life and mortality.

“Expert opinion favors surgical correction of severe ischemic mitral regurgitation, but the optimal surgical strategy remains controversial, leading to practice pattern variations. The results of this trial should better inform therapeutic decisions for the care of these complex patients,” said Annetine C. Gelijns, Ph.D., the Edmond A. Guggenheim professor and chair of the Department Population Health Science and Policy at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the principal investigator for the Data Coordinating Center based at Mount Sinai.

At the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2014, one-year postoperative results were presented, concluding that there was no difference in left ventricular end systolic volume index for mitral valve repair or replacement. However it was also reported that patients with a mitral valve repair experienced significantly more recurrent regurgitation than those with a mitral replacement. “From a patient’s perspective, the observed differences in MR recurrence are reflected in higher rates of heart failure and hospitalizations, and these have a measurable effect on formal measures of quality of life,” said Alan J. Moskowitz, M.D,, professor and vice-chair of Population Health Science and Policy at the Icahn School of Medicine.

“Building on the one-year clinical data reported in 2014, we concluded that while there was no difference in the rate of survival for valve replacement or repair, mitral valve replacement did prove to be a more durable option for the treatment of severe ischemic regurgitation,” said Michael A. Acker, M.D., chief of the division of Cardiovascular Surgery and the William Maul Measey, professor of surgery in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and senior author of the study. “Recurrence of MR led to increased cardiovascular readmissions and more heart failure adverse events when compared to replacement. Until we can reliably predict the patients who will recur after repair, replacement is a more reliable treatment for patients with severe ischemic mitral regurgitation. Additional research is needed to better predict the patients who can be repaired without recurrence.”

The study was presented as the Late-Breaking Clinical Trial (Abstract 23690): Two-Year Outcomes following Mitral Valve Repair or Replacement for Severe Ischemic Mitral Regurgitation.

About Montefiore Health SystemMontefiore is a premier academic health system and the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Combining nationally-recognized clinical excellence with a population health perspective that focuses on the comprehensive needs of the communities it serves, Montefiore delivers coordinated, compassionate, science-driven care where, when and how patients need it most. Montefiore consists of eight hospitals and an extended care facility with a total of 2,747 beds, a School of Nursing, and state-of-the-art primary and specialty care provided through a network of more than 150 locations across the region, including the largest school health program in the nation and a home health program. The Children's Hospital at Montefiore is consistently named in U.S. News' "America's Best Children's Hospitals." Montefiore's partnership with Einstein advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. The health system derives its inspiration for excellence from its patients and community, and continues to be on the frontlines of developing innovative approaches to care. For more information please visit Follow us on Twitter; like us on Facebook; view us on YouTube.

About Mount Sinai Health System
The Mount Sinai Health System is an integrated health system committed to providing distinguished care, conducting transformative research, and advancing biomedical education. Structured around seven hospital campuses and a single medical school, the Health System has an extensive ambulatory network and a range of inpatient and outpatient services—from community-based facilities to tertiary and quaternary care. The System includes approximately 6,100 primary and specialty care physicians; 12 joint-venture ambulatory surgery centers; more than 140 ambulatory practices throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and 31 affiliated community health centers. Physicians are affiliated with the renowned Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, which is ranked among the highest in the nation in National Institutes of Health funding per investigator. The Mount Sinai Hospital is ranked as one of the nation’s top 10 hospitals in Geriatrics, Cardiology/Heart Surgery and Gastroenterology, and is in the top 25 in five other specialties in the 2014-2015 “Best Hospitals” issue of U.S. News & World Report. Mount Sinai’s Kravis Children’s Hospital also is ranked in seven out of ten pediatric specialties by U.S. News & World Report. The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked 11th nationally for Ophthalmolgy, while Mount Sinai Beth Israel is ranked regionally. For more information, visit or find Mount Sinai on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Penn Medicine Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania(founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $409 million awarded in the 2014 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2014, Penn Medicine provided $771 million to benefit our community.