Mitral valve regurgitation (MR) is a common valvular disorder occurring in up to 10% of the general population. Mitral valve reconstructive strategies may address any of the components, annulus, leaflets, and chords, involved in the valvular competence. The classical repair technique involves the resection of the prolapsing tissue. Chordal replacement was introduced already in the '60, but in the mid '80, some surgeons started to use expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) Gore-Tex sutures. In the last years, artificial chords have been used also using transcatheter approach such as NeoChord DS 1000 (Neochord) and Harpoon TSD-5. The first step is to achieve a good exposure of the papillary muscles that before approaching the implant of the artificial chords. Then, the chords are attached to the papillary muscle, with or without the use of supportive pledgets. The techniques to correctly implant artificial chords are many and might vary considerably from one center to another, but they can be summarized into three big families of suturing techniques: single, running or loop. Regardless of how to anchor to the mitral leaflet, the real challenge that many surgeons have taken on, giving rise to some very creative solutions, has been to establish an adequate length of the chords. It can be established based on anatomically healthy chords, but it is important to bear in mind that surgeons work on the mitral valve when the heart is arrested in diastole, so this length could fail to replicate the required length in the full, beating heart. Hence, some surgeons suggested techniques to overcome this problem. Herein, we aimed to describe the current use of artificial chords in real-world surgery, summarizing all the tips and tricks.
Reference: Mitral valve repair with artificial chords: Tips and tricks. Di Mauro M, Bonalumi G, Giambuzzi I, Messi P, Cargoni M, Paparella D, Lorusso R, Calafiore AM. J Card Surg. 2022 Nov 2.