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You are here: Contents > 2017 > Volume 26 Number 5 September 2017 > MITRAL VALVE DISEASE > Association Between Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease and Skeletal Back Abnormalities

Association Between Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease and Skeletal Back Abnormalities

Alireza Movahed1, David Majdalany2, Marc Gillinov3, William Schiavone2,4

1Department of Internal Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
2Departmemnt of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
3Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, USA
4Electronic correspondence:

Background and aim of the study: Myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) is one of the most prevalent valvular heart diseases, while back pain, neck pain and upper-extremity numbness are some of the most common complaints in outpatient settings. Decreased thoracic kyphosis (straight back) is a known cause of hastening back or neck problems, radiculopathy, or even myelopathy. The study aim was to examine the relationship between MMVD, straight back, and the need for cervical fusion.

Methods: In this single-center retrospective study, patients who underwent mitral valve repair or replacement due to MMVD (cases) based on age, gender and body mass index (BMI), were matched with patients who underwent coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) surgery and had no history of mitral valve disease (controls). The number of patients in each group who required cervical fusion was also noted. Patients included were aged <65 years at the time of surgery, which was performed between January 2014 and December 2015. Thoracic kyphosis curvature was measured from the length of a perpendicular line drawn from the middle of the anterior border of T8 vertebral body to a vertical line connecting anterior


superior T4 and anterior inferior T12 on a lateral chest radiograph (AP distance). An AP distance <12 mm was defined as straight back. A Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare the AP distance between cases and controls, and a chi-square test was used to compare the prevalence of straight back in the two groups.

Results: The study cohort included 75 patients in the MMVD group and 225 patients in the CABG group. Straight back was present in 27% of the MMVD group versus only 6.7% of the CABG group (p <0.0001) (Odds ratio 5.1; 95% CI 2.4-10.6). The mean AP distance in the MMVD group was 19.8 ± 8 mm, compared to 22.4 ± 6 mm for CABG cohort (p = 0.017). Of those patients with MMVD who had straight back, 10% required cervical fusion, compared to none in the CABG group.

Conclusion: MMVD is associated with straight back and a relatively high requirement for cervical fusion. Patients with MMVD should be screened for straight back and, if the condition is identified, should consider preventive measures to obviate the need for cervical fusion.

The Journal of Heart Valve Disease 2017;26:564-568

Association Between Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease and Skeletal Back Abnormalities

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