Repair of the mitral valve is defined (loosely) as a procedure that alters the valve structure, without replacement, enabling the natural valve itself to continue to perform under the physical conditions to which it is exposed. As the mitral valve is driven by flow and pressure, it should be feasible to analyse and assess its function, failure and repair as a mechanical system. This article reviews the current state of mechanical evaluation of surgical repairs of the failed mitral valve of the heart. This review describes the anatomy and physiology of the mitral valve, followed by the failure of the mitral valve from a mechanical point of view. The surgical methods used to repair failed valves are introduced, while the use of engineering analysis to aid understanding of mitral valve repair is also reviewed. Finally, a section on recommendations for development and future uses of engineering techniques to surgical repair are presented.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.