Publications by authors named "Gonçalo Coutinho"

33 Publications

Commentary: Mild tricuspid regurgitation in rheumatic mitral surgery: To do, or not do, that is the question.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2021 Jun 9. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Cardiothoracic Surgery Department, University Hospital and Centre of Coimbra; Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2021.06.008DOI Listing
June 2021

Innominate artery post-traumatic pseudoaneurysm presenting with Horner's syndrome.

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2021 May 24. Epub 2021 May 24.

Department of Angiology and Vascular Surgery, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra, EPE, Coimbra, Portugal.

Isolated innominate artery trauma after blunt thoracic contusion is rare and occurs mostly at its origin. We report a case of a post-traumatic distal innominate artery pseudoaneurysm presenting with Horner's syndrome treated by conventional surgical approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icvts/ivab156DOI Listing
May 2021

Current status of the treatment of degenerative mitral valve regurgitation.

Rev Port Cardiol (Engl Ed) 2021 Apr 19;40(4):293-304. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

Degenerative mitral valve disease (myxomatous degeneration or fibroelastic deficiency) is the most common indication for surgical referral to treat mitral regurgitation. Mitral valve repair is the procedure of choice whenever feasible and when the results are expected to be durable. Posterior leaflet prolapse is the commonest lesion, found in up to two-thirds of patients. It is the easiest to repair, particularly when limited to one segment. In these cases, rates of repairability and procedural success approach 100%, and there is now ample evidence that the immediate and long-term results are better than those of valve replacement. Notably, minimally invasive valvular procedures, surgical or interventional, have attracted increasing interest in the last decade. When performed by experienced groups, mitral valve repair is unrivaled irrespective of the severity of lesions, from simple to complex, which leaflets are involved, and the type of degenerative involvement (myxomatous or fibroelastic). Its results should be viewed as the benchmark for other present and future technologies. By contrast, percutaneous mitral valve repair is still in its infancy and its results so far fall short of those of surgical repair. Nevertheless, continued investment in transcatheter procedures is of great importance to enable development and improved accessibility, particularly for patients who are considered unsuitable for surgery. In this review, we analyze the current status of management of degenerative mitral valve disease, discussing mitral valve anatomy and pathology, indications for intervention, and current surgical and transcatheter mitral valve procedures and results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repc.2020.10.011DOI Listing
April 2021

Quadricuspid aortic valve with a hidden left ostium: Case report and literature review.

Rev Port Cardiol (Engl Ed) 2021 Jan 10;40(1):63.e1-63.e5. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Center of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Medical School, Coimbra, Portugal.

Quadricuspid aortic valve (QAV) is a rare congenital condition that frequently progresses to aortic regurgitation with clinical impact in adulthood. Surgical treatment is required in the fifth to sixth decade of life in about one fifth of patients. We describe the case of a 64-year-old woman with regular cardiological follow-up for severe aortic valve regurgitation who had suffered recent clinical and echocardiographic deterioration. Conventional open surgery was indicated. During the procedure, a QAV with leaflet retraction and central orifice was observed. The aortic valve was successfully replaced.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repc.2018.04.012DOI Listing
January 2021

EHD1 Modulates Cx43 Gap Junction Remodeling Associated With Cardiac Diseases.

Circ Res 2020 05 5;126(10):e97-e113. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

From the Coimbra Institute for Clinical and Biomedical Research (iCBR), Faculty of Medicine (T.M.-M., S.C., L.C., P.A., G.C., H.G.), University of Coimbra, Portugal.

Rationale: Efficient communication between heart cells is vital to ensure the anisotropic propagation of electrical impulses, a function mainly accomplished by gap junctions (GJ) composed of Cx43 (connexin 43). Although the molecular mechanisms remain unclear, altered distribution and function of gap junctions have been associated with acute myocardial infarction and heart failure.

Objective: A recent proteomic study from our laboratory identified EHD1 (Eps15 [endocytic adaptor epidermal growth factor receptor substrate 15] homology domain-containing protein 1) as a novel interactor of Cx43 in the heart.

Methods And Results: In the present work, we demonstrate that knockdown of EHD1 impaired the internalization of Cx43, preserving gap junction-intercellular coupling in cardiomyocytes. Interaction of Cx43 with EHD1 was mediated by Eps15 and promoted by phosphorylation and ubiquitination of Cx43. Overexpression of wild-type EHD1 accelerated internalization of Cx43 and exacerbated ischemia-induced lateralization of Cx43 in isolated adult cardiomyocytes. In addition, we show that EHDs associate with Cx43 in human and murine failing hearts.

Conclusions: Overall, we identified EHDs as novel regulators of endocytic trafficking of Cx43, participating in the pathological remodeling of gap junctions, paving the way to innovative therapeutic strategies aiming at preserving intercellular communication in the heart.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.119.316502DOI Listing
May 2020

The conundrum of mitral valve etiology and the association with clinical outcomes.

Kardiol Pol 2019 05 24;77(5):505-506. Epub 2019 May 24.

University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal

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http://dx.doi.org/10.33963/KP.14843DOI Listing
May 2019

Long-term results after concomitant mitral and aortic valve surgery: repair or replacement?

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2018 12;54(6):1085-1092

Cardiothoracic Surgery Department, Coimbra Hospital and Universitary Centre, Coimbra, Portugal.

Objectives: The reported superiority of mitral valve (MV) repair for isolated MV regurgitation has not been confirmed in mitroaortic valve surgery. Our goals were to evaluate the feasibility of repair in patients undergoing mitral and aortic valve surgery and to identify factors predisposing to MV replacement, to compare long-term outcomes (survival and MV reoperation) of repair and replacement and to perform a subgroup analysis in patients with rheumatic MV disease.

Methods: From January 1992 through December 2016, 1122 consecutive patients were submitted to concomitant aortic and MV surgery in 2 different centres (Coimbra and Santiago). Of these, 837 patients underwent MV repair (74.6%) and 285 patients had MV replacement (25.4%). Rheumatic aetiology was predominant (666 patients; 59.4%). Cumulative follow-up was 9522.6 patient-years (25th-75th percentile 2.6-13.2 years) and was complete for 95.6% of patients. Propensity score matching (1:1) was performed in 232 patients for comparing each treatment option (MV repair and MV replacement).

Results: Previous MV intervention, rheumatic aetiology, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, higher degrees of tricuspid and mitral regurgitation and pulmonary hypertension were independently correlated with MV replacement. The 30-day mortality rate was higher in patients with MV replacement (4.2% vs 1.8%, P = 0.021) and was confirmed in the propensity score matching (4.7% vs 1.7%, P = 0.06). Late survival was lower in the MV replacement group (53.3 ± 4.5% vs 61.7 ± 2.0% at 12 years; P = 0.026) and was confirmed in the propensity score matching (54.6 ± 4.9% vs 63.2 ± 3.8%, P = 0.062) and rheumatic subgroup (57.9 ± 4.8% vs 68.0 ± 2.5%, P = 0.018). Freedom from MV reoperation at 12 years was higher in the MV repair group (94.7 ± 1.1% vs 89.0 ± 3.1%, P = 0.004) but similar in patients with rheumatic MV disease.

Conclusions: MV repair can be performed in most patients undergoing aortic valve replacement. It should be the procedure of choice whenever feasible, because it is associated with lower early and late mortality rates and with freedom from reoperation in non-rheumatic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezy205DOI Listing
December 2018

Anomalous coronary arteries arising from the opposite aortic sinus: When to intervene?

Rev Port Cardiol (Engl Ed) 2018 Mar 21;37(3):237-238. Epub 2018 Mar 21.

Serviço de Cirurgia Cardiotorácica do Centro Universitário e Hospitalar de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.repc.2018.02.005DOI Listing
March 2018

Circumflex artery injury during mitral valve repair: Not well known, perhaps not so infrequent-lessons learned from a 6-case experience.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2017 11 24;154(5):1613-1620. Epub 2017 May 24.

Center of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2017.05.043DOI Listing
November 2017

Mitral valve repair for degenerative mitral valve disease: surgical approach, patient selection and long-term outcomes.

Heart 2017 11 31;103(21):1663-1669. Epub 2017 May 31.

Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Centre of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

Mitral valve repair (MVRepair) has become the procedure of choice to correct severe degenerative mitral regurgitation (MR), due to its documented superiority to valve replacement regarding long-term survival, freedom from valve-related adverse events and preservation of left ventricular (LV) function. The refinement of MVRepair techniques has rendered almost all valves (more than 95%) amenable to repair with a 15-year freedom from reoperation of 90%. The concept of 'centres of excellence for MVRepair' has emerged, encouraging referring doctors to select the most experienced institutions or individual surgeons to deal with the most complex cases, based on repair volume, appropriate peri-procedural imaging and data regarding expected outcomes (repair, mortality and durability of repair). Based on the good results, operating on asymptomatic patients with severe MR is now widely accepted, prophylactically avoiding the dire consequences of chronic MR, such as LV function deterioration/enlargement, and development of atrial fibrillation and pulmonary hypertension. In reference centres, where the repair rate is over 95% for all types of disease with <1% mortality, it has become standard practice in nearly 50%-60% of all patients submitted to MVRepair. Finally, recent advances in the surgical treatment with the purpose of reducing invasiveness and surgical trauma, through partial sternotomy or mini-thoracotomy (video-assisted with or without robotics), are now being increasingly performed in 20%-30% of centres, claiming comparable results to conventional surgery. In addition, transcatheter technology, particularly the MitraClip, is evolving and treading its way in the treatment of high-risk patients with severe MR, but the results are still short of ideal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2016-311031DOI Listing
November 2017

Surgical Treatment of Posterior Mitral Valve Prolapse: Towards 100% Repair.

J Heart Valve Dis 2015 Nov;24(6):752-759

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of Coimbra, Portugal.

Background: The study aim was to evaluate the immediate and long-term results of surgical treatment of isolated posterior mitral valve leaflet prolapse (PLP), focusing on survival and freedom from recurrent mitral regurgitation (MR).

Methods: Between January 1998 and December 2012, a total of 492 consecutive patients (375 males, 117 females; mean age 61.8 ± 12.1 years; range: 13-86 years) with isolated PLP [304 (61.8%) with myxomatous degeneration; 188 (38.2%) with fibroelastic deficiency] were treated at the authors' institution. Of these patients, 202 (41.1%) were in NYHA class III-IV, and atrial fibrillation was present in 104 (21.1%). Mitral valve repair was achieved in 484 patients (98.4%), resection was performed in 419 (85.2%), and prosthetic ring annuloplasty was used in 436 (88.6%). Concomitant procedures were performed in 153 patients (31.1%), including tricuspid valve repair in 50 (10.2%), aortic valve surgery in 34 (6.9%), and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in 64 (13%).

Results: The hospital mortality rate was 0.2%, and the mean follow up was 7.1 ± 3.9 years. There were 71 late deaths (14.4%), and overall survival at five, 10 and 15 years was 91.7 ± 1.3%, 82.1 ± 2.3% and 64.7 ± 6.1%, respectively. There was no significant difference in long-term survival compared with the age- and gender-matched general population (p = 0.146). Multivariate Cox-proportional hazard analysis showed older age (HR 1.03 per annum), left ventricular dysfunction (HR 2.44), atrial fibrillation (HR 1.96), left ventricular end-diastolic dimension (HR 1.05 per mm) and non-use of prosthetic ring (HR 3.03) as significant predictors of late mortality. Recurrence of moderate or severe MR occurred in 31 patients, six of whom underwent mitral valve reoperation. Predictors of late recurrence of MR were fibroelastic deficiency (HR 2.38), mitral calcification (HR 5.26), posterior leaflet plication (HR 3.58), absence of complete ring annuloplasty (HR 3.84) and systolic pulmonary artery pressure at discharge (HR 1.10 per mmHg). Freedom from mitral valve reoperation at 15 years was 97.4 ± 1.1% CONCLUSIONS: Mitral valve repair in isolated PLP can be achieved in virtually all cases with a very low operative risk and a high durability of repair. Atrial fibrillation or large left ventricles are associated with a poor prognosis. Failure to use a complete ring annuloplasty carries a risk not only for the return of MR but also for survival.
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November 2015

Surgery for mitral stenosis in patients with pulmonary hypertension: How far can we go?

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2016 08 1;152(2):302-3. Epub 2016 Jun 1.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2016.05.041DOI Listing
August 2016

Long-term follow-up of patients undergoing aortic root enlargement for insertion of a larger prosthesis.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2016 Jul 27;50(1):82-8. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Coimbra, Portugal

Objectives: To evaluate the long-term survival of patients undergoing aortic root enlargement (ARE) compared with those with small aortic root (SAR), exploring risk factors for late mortality as well as the influence of patient-prosthesis mismatch (PPM).

Methods: From January 1999 through December 2010, a total of 3724 patients underwent isolated or combined aortic valve replacement at our institution. From these, 239 (6.4%) had transannular ARE with a pericardial patch, to permit implantation of a larger prosthesis. This study population was compared with a control group of 767 patients (20.6%) who were considered to have SAR, as a prosthesis of size 21 or less was implanted. Mean age was comparable: 70.4 ± 12.5 vs 69.9 ± 9.6 years for ARE and SAR groups, respectively (P = 0.552). Female sex predominated in the control group (81.6 vs 88.0%; P = 0.011). Patients of the ARE group tended to have higher mean body surface area (1.59 ± 0.15 vs 1.57 ± 0.13 m(2); P = 0.061) and were less symptomatic (NYHA III-IV: 49.4 vs 57.9%; P = 0.021).

Results: Implantation of bioprostheses was more frequent in the ARE group (76.2 vs 52.3%; P < 0.001), while concomitant procedures were more frequent in the SAR group (25.5 vs 32.2%; P = 0.050). Patients in the SAR group had higher moderate PPM (29.7 vs 50.1%; P < 0.001), but no patient was left with severe PPM. Hospital mortality was not statistically different between ARE and SAR groups (0.8 vs 0.5%; P = 0.632). The overall survival rate for ARE group patients at 5, 10 and 15 years was 82.7 ± 2.5, 64.8 ± 3.8 and 36.0 ± 7.5%, respectively, in comparison with 86.2 ± 1.3, 62.9 ± 2.3 and 38.4 ± 4.3% for the SAR group (P = 0.741). There was no significant difference in long-term survival of ARE patients compared with the age- and gender-matched general population (P = 0.794). Long-term survival was not affected by the presence of PPM. Increasing age, male sex, atrial fibrillation, LV end-systolic dimension, preoperative creatinine and NYHA class III-IV were significant predictors of late mortality.

Conclusions: ARE can be done safely, effectively reducing PPM. Although no difference was found in early and late mortality compared with the SAR group, long-term survival rates of ARE patients was comparable with that of the general population, unlike those of the SAR group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezv487DOI Listing
July 2016

Long-term results of mitral valve surgery for degenerative anterior leaflet or bileaflet prolapse: analysis of negative factors for repair, early and late failures, and survival.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2016 Jul 19;50(1):66-74. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Coimbra, Portugal

Objectives: To evaluate the feasibility of mitral valve repair in patients with anterior leaflet (ALP) or bileaflet prolapse (BLP) and identify factors predisposing patients to replacement. To compare long-term survival of patients submitted to repair (Group Repair) against those submitted to replacement (Group Replacement), and investigate causes of early and late failures of repair.

Methods: From January 1992 through December 2012, 768 patients with ALP or BLP were submitted to mitral valve surgery, of whom 501 had degenerative involvement [Myxomatous (Myx)-336 (67.1%) or fibroelastic deficiency (Fed)-165 (32.9%)] and constituted the study population. Isolated ALP was present in 274 patients (54.7%) and BLP in 227 (45.3%). Associated procedures were admitted.

Results: Patients with Fed were significantly older (64.4 ± 12.1 vs 54.8 ± 15.5 years, P < 0.001), more symptomatic (63 vs 44.3%; P < 0.001) and with higher incidence of atrial fibrillation (43.6 vs 26.2%; P < 0.001). Repair was achieved in 94.8% of patients with an overall 30-day mortality rate of 1.2% (0.3% in the last decade) and no differences regarding aetiology. Age, moderate to severe left ventricular (LV) dysfunction, previous cardiac surgery, multiple segment prolapse, mitral calcification, leaflet retraction and the performing surgeon were independently associated with replacement. Group Repair patients had a greater adjusted 20-year survival by comparison with Group Replacement (43.4 ± 5.5 vs 13.6 ± 11.3%; P < 0.001) and similar to that of the age- and sex-adjusted general population (P = 0.10). Valve replacement, New York Heart Association (NYHA) class III-IV, pulmonary hypertension and LV dysfunction emerged as independent predictors of late mortality. Patients in NYHA class I-II experienced a higher repair rate (98.4%) and better survival than those in Class III-IV. Two repair patients were reoperated during the first year after surgery (early failure) and both were 'rerepaired'. Late failure was observed in 21 patients, mostly for progression of the disease. The 20-year rate of freedom from reoperation was 88 ± 2.7%, significantly worse in ALP patients (P = 0.040), and not different between Fed and Myx.

Conclusions: Patients with ALP or BLP can be submitted to surgery with low mortality and great probability of repair in expert hands. Patients should be operated on at an early phase (asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic), because there is a higher probability of repair and greater benefit on long-term survival.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezv470DOI Listing
July 2016

Supramitral membrane mimicking posterior mitral valve prolapse.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015 Sep 21;48(3):e60-1. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Coimbra, Portugal.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezv241DOI Listing
September 2015

Coronary artery bypass surgery without cardioplegia: hospital results in 8515 patients†.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2016 Mar 23;49(3):918-25. Epub 2015 May 23.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Objectives: Cardioplegic myocardial protection is used in most cardiac surgical procedures. However, other alternatives have proved useful. We analysed the perioperative results in a large series of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass (CABG) using cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and non-cardioplegic methods.

Methods: From January 1992 to October 2013, 8515 consecutive patients underwent isolated CABG with CPB without cardioplegia, under hypothermic ventricular fibrillation and/or an empty beating heart. The mean age was 61.9 ± 9.5 years, 12.4% were women, 26.3% diabetic, 64% hypertensive; and 9.6% had peripheral vascular disease, 7.8% cerebrovascular disease and 54.3% previous acute myocardial infarction (AMI). One-third of patients were in Canadian Cardiovascular Society Class III/IV. Three-vessel disease was present in 76.5% of the cases and 10.9% had moderate/severe left ventricle (LV) dysfunction (ejection fraction <40%). A multivariate analysis was made of risk factors associated to in-hospital mortality and three major morbidity complications [cerebrovascular accident, mediastinitis and acute kidney injury (AKI)], as well as for prolonged hospital stay.

Results: The mean CPB time was 58.2 ± 20.7 min. The mean number of grafts per patient was 2.7 ± 0.8 (arterial: 1.2 ± 0.5). The left internal thoracic artery (ITA) was used in 99.4% of patients and both ITAs in 23.1%. The in-hospital mortality rate was 0.7% (61 patients), inotropic support was required in 6.6% and mechanical support in 0.8, and 2.0% were re-explored for bleeding and 1.3% for sternal complications (mediastinitis, 0.8%). AKI, the majority transient, occurred in 1595 patients (18.9%). The incidence rates of stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA) and acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were 2.6 and 2.5%, respectively, and atrial fibrillation/flutter occurred in 22.6% of cases. Age, LV dysfunction, non-elective surgery, previous cardiac surgery, peripheral vascular disease and CPB time were independent risk factors for mortality and major morbidity. The mean hospital stay was 7.2 ± 5.7 days.

Conclusions: Isolated CABG with CPB using non-cardioplegic methods proved very safe, with low mortality and morbidity. These methods are simple and expeditious and remain as very useful alternative techniques of myocardial preservation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezv177DOI Listing
March 2016

Mitral valve surgery after percutaneous mitral commissurotomy: is repair still feasible?

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015 Jan;47(1):e1-6

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Medical School, Coimbra, Portugal

Objectives: Due to progression of rheumatic disease, percutaneous mitral commissurotomy (PMC) is a palliative procedure. We aimed at evaluating the outcomes of patients requiring surgery for failure of PMC, focusing on the fate of the mitral valve (MV) (repair versus replacement).

Methods: From January 1993 through December 2012, 61 patients with previous PMC were submitted to MV surgery. Detailed operative findings were collected from all patients and an intraoperative anatomical score was introduced to predict reparability. Time to surgery, overall survival and freedom from reoperation were analysed.

Results: The mean time to surgery after PMC was 6.9±5.9 years and indications were restenosis in 25 patients (41%) and mitral regurgitation or mixed lesion in 36 (59%). Nine patients (14.8%) had more than one previous intervention. Intraoperative inspection of the valve revealed leaflet laceration outside the commissural area in 27 patients (44.3%). Valve repair was accomplished in 38 patients (62.3%). Pulmonary hypertension, calcification and intraoperative anatomical score were independently associated with the probability of valve replacement (OR 1.12, OR 7.03 and OR 4.49, respectively, P<0.05). There was no hospital mortality. MV area increased on average 1.6 cm2 after surgery to 2.7 cm2; 5-, 10- and 20-year survival rates were 98.1±1.9, 91±5.2 and 82.7±9.2%, respectively. The rate of freedom from mitral reoperation (for repaired cases) at 5, 10 and 15 years was 100, 95.8±4.1 and 87.8±8.5%, respectively. There was no difference in survival between repaired or replaced MVs, but the former had less valve-related events during follow-up.

Conclusion: The MV can be repaired after failed PMC, with very low complication rates and excellent long-term results. Hence, whenever possible, these patients should be sent to reference centres where repair can be successfully achieved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezu365DOI Listing
January 2015

Preservation of the subvalvular apparatus during mitral valve replacement of rheumatic valves does not affect long-term survival.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015 Dec 18;48(6):861-7; discussion 867. Epub 2015 Jan 18.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal

Objectives: The importance of preservation of the subvalvular apparatus (PSVA) during mitral valve replacement (MVR) in non-rheumatic mitral valves is well recognized. Our aim was to analyse the impact of PSVA in MVR for rheumatic valves on long-term survival.

Methods: From January 1992 to December 2012, 605 consecutive patients with rheumatic mitral valve disease were submitted to MVR. PSVA (limited to the posterior leaflet) was achieved in 224 (37.7%) patients. Follow-up was 4259 patient-years, and complete for 97% of the patients. Propensity score analysis was introduced to reduce selection bias.

Results: Patients with PSVA were slightly older (61.9 vs 59.8 years, P = 0.014), with lower incidence of calcification (54.9 vs 63.0%, P = 0.05), pure mitral stenosis (29.9 vs 38.9%, P = 0.014) and history of rheumatic fever (44.6 vs 53.9%, P = 0.028). Mechanical prostheses were more frequently implanted in the Non-PSVA group (75.1 vs 65.6%, P = 0.013). Thirty-day mortality was 1.1%. Late survival rates at 5, 10 and 18 years were 86.6 ± 2.0, 70.8 ± 3.2 and 48.0 ± 5.1%, respectively, with no difference between groups. Both groups had compromised late survival when compared with the general population (age and gender matched, P < 0.001). Only age, large left atrium, pulmonary hypertension and 'pure' MR appeared as independent predictors for late mortality. There was no difference regarding adverse valve-related events between groups.

Conclusions: Patients submitted to MVR for rheumatic mitral valve disease have a poor prognosis, independently of having the subvalvular apparatus preserved. PSVA did not improve late survival in this setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezu537DOI Listing
December 2015

Negative impact of atrial fibrillation and pulmonary hypertension after mitral valve surgery in asymptomatic patients with severe mitral regurgitation: a 20-year follow-up.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2015 Oct 5;48(4):548-55; discussion 555-6. Epub 2015 Jan 5.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Faculty of Medicine, Coimbra, Portugal

Objectives: The timing for mitral valve (MV) surgery in asymptomatic patients with severe mitral regurgitation (MR) and preserved left ventricular (LV) function remains controversial. We aimed at analysing the long-term outcome of asymptomatic patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and/or pulmonary hypertension (PHT) after successful MV repair.

Methods: From January 1992 to December 2012, 382 patients with severe degenerative MR, with no or mild symptoms, preserved LV function (ejection fraction > 60%) and LV systolic dimensions <45 mm were submitted to surgery and followed up for up to 22 years (3209 patient-years). Patients with associated surgeries, other than tricuspid repair, were excluded. Patients with AF and/or PHT (Group A; n = 106, 24.4%) were compared with patients without these comorbidities (Group B; n = 276, 63.6%). Propensity-score matching (for preoperative variables) was performed obtaining 102 patients in each arm. Survival and event-free survival [major cardiac and cerebrovascular events (MACCEs); freedom from mitral reoperation and recurrent moderate and severe MR] were analysed.

Results: MV repair was performed in 98.2% of cases and tricuspid annuloplasty in 6.9%. Overall 30-day mortality was 0.8%, not different between groups, and absent in patients with isolated posterior leaflet prolapse (n = 211). Patients with AF/PHT had worse late survival by comparison with Group B patients (67.0 ± 7.4 vs 86.5 ± 3.9% at 15 years, P < 0.001), survival free from MACCE (52.7 ± 8.7 vs 74.5 ± 5.0%, P < 0.001), from recurrent moderate and severe MR (65.1 ± 10.3 vs 87.0 ± 3.8%, P = 0.002) and from mitral reoperation during the follow-up (87.3 ± 6.3 vs 94.2 ± 2.7%, P = 0.04). These differences were confirmed in the propensity score-matched population. Patients from Group A also displayed a lesser degree of reverse remodelling. There was a significant reduction in the systolic pulmonary artery pressure (SPAP) after surgery, more pronounced in Group A patients; nonetheless, the mean SPAP at late follow-up was higher in these patients (45 vs 30 mmHg).

Conclusions: MV repair can be achieved in the great majority of patients with degenerative regurgitation, with low mortality (<1%). Asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients with severe MR, preserved LV function and AF/PHT had poorer long-term survival and event-free survival even after a successful surgery. The durability of MV repair was also compromised in these patients, which indicates that they should have been operated earlier.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezu511DOI Listing
October 2015

Rupture of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene neochordae used for mitral valve repair: does size matter?

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2014 Nov 4;148(5):2442-3. Epub 2014 Nov 4.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Medical School, Coimbra, Portugal.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.07.019DOI Listing
November 2014

Long-term follow-up of asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic patients with severe degenerative mitral regurgitation and preserved left ventricular function.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2014 Dec 30;148(6):2795-801. Epub 2014 Jul 30.

Center of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Medical School, Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

Objectives: The timing for mitral valve surgery in asymptomatic patients with severe mitral regurgitation and preserved left ventricular function remains controversial. We analyzed the immediate and long-term outcomes of these patients after surgery.

Methods: From January 1992 to December 2012, 382 consecutive patients with severe chronic degenerative mitral regurgitation, with no or mild symptoms, and preserved left ventricular function (ejection fraction ≥ 60%) were submitted to surgery and followed for up to 22 years (3209 patient-years). Patients with associated surgeries, other than tricuspid valve repair, were excluded. Cox proportional-hazard survival analysis was performed to determine predictors of late mortality and mitral reoperation. Subgroup analysis involved patients with atrial fibrillation or pulmonary hypertension.

Results: Mitral valvuloplasty was performed in 98.2% of cases. Thirty-day mortality was 0.8%. Overall survival at 5, 10, and 20 years was 96.3% ± 1.0%, 89.7% ± 2.0%, and 72.4% ± 5.8%, respectively, and similar to the expected age- and gender-adjusted general population. Patients with atrial fibrillation/pulmonary hypertension had a 2-fold risk of late mortality compared with the remaining patients (hazard ratio, 2.54; 95% confidence interval, 1.17-4.80; P = .018). Benefit was age-dependent only in younger patients (<65 years; P = .016). Patients with atrial fibrillation/pulmonary hypertension (hazard ratio, 4.20, confidence interval, 1.10-11.20; P = .037) and patients with chordal shortening were at increased risk for reoperation, whereas patients with P2 prolapse (hazard ratio, 0.06; confidence interval, 0.008-0.51; P = .037) and patients with myxomatous valves (hazard ratio, 0.072; confidence interval, 0.008-0.624; P = .017) were at decreased risk.

Conclusions: Mitral valve repair can be achieved in the majority of patients with low mortality (<1%) and excellent long-term survival. Patients with atrial fibrillation/pulmonary hypertension had compromised long-term survival, particularly younger patients (aged <65 years), and are at increased risk of mitral reoperation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.06.089DOI Listing
December 2014

Reply to the editor.

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2014 Jun;147(6):1994-5

Center of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Medical School, Coimbra, Portugal.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2014.02.033DOI Listing
June 2014

Concomitant aortic and mitral surgery: to replace or repair the mitral valve?

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2014 Oct 2;148(4):1386-1392.e1. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Center of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital and Medical School, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal. Electronic address:

Objectives: The study objectives were to evaluate the perioperative outcomes of concomitant mitral and aortic valve surgery and to determine the influence of mitral valve repair versus replacement on survival and adverse events.

Methods: The study population comprised 261 patients with a mean age of 61.3±11.2 (19-82) years; 57.5% were male, and 73% were in New York Heart Association class III or IV. Mitral valve repair was performed in 209 patients (80%), and mitral valve replacement was performed in 52 patients (20%). Follow-up was complete for 95% of the patients (1395 patient-years). We specifically examined the impact of mitral valve repair versus replacement by comparing 2 propensity-matched subgroups.

Results: Degenerative and functional mitral regurgitation, and left ventricular dilation and dysfunction were associated with mitral valve repair (P<.05). Rheumatic disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, redo surgery, mitral calcification, and atrial fibrillation were more frequently related to mitral valve replacement (P<.05). Overall 30-day mortality was 1.1% (3 patients). Overall 1-, 5-, and 8-year survival were 98.0%±2.0%, 85.9%±6.1%, and 79.8%±8.2%, respectively, for the mitral valve replacement group and 95.3%±1.5%, 87.4%±2.6%, and 75.2%±4.0%, respectively, for the mitral valve repair group (P=.906). This was confirmed by comparable survival in propensity-matched analyses. Mitral valve repair showed a survival advantage in older patients (aged ≥65 years) and patients with nonrheumatic mitral valves (P=.017 and P=.034, respectively). Bleeding events (83% vs 60%), endocarditis (97.6% vs 84.6%), and reoperation (97.6% vs 86.9%) were higher in those undergoing mitral valve replacement. Freedom from major adverse valve-related events was higher for the mitral valve repair group (P=.002). Mitral valve replacement was identified as an independent risk factor for major adverse valve-related events (hazard ratio, 1.99; P=.018).

Conclusions: Concomitant mitral and aortic valve surgery carries a low surgical risk. The choice of the mitral procedure did not significantly affect survival. However, mitral valve replacement was associated with an increased incidence of adverse events. Thus, valve repair, whenever feasible, is a better option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcvs.2013.12.008DOI Listing
October 2014

Management of moderate secondary mitral regurgitation at the time of aortic valve surgery.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2013 Jul 22;44(1):32-40. Epub 2013 Jan 22.

Faculty of Medicine, Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal.

Objectives: To define the impact of surgical strategy [concomitant mitral valve surgery or isolated aortic valve replacement (AVR)] in patients with moderate secondary mitral regurgitation (MR) at the time of AVR.

Methods: From January 1999 to December 2009, 3339 patients underwent AVR of whom 255 had secondary MR >2+ and constituted the study population. Patients were stratified into two groups, with (Group A, n = 94, 36.8%) and without concomitant mitral valve surgery (Group B, n = 161, 63.2%). Follow-up up to 12 years (1076 patient-years) was analysed for survival, valve-related events and persistent MR. Predictors of late mortality and persistent MR were further analysed. A case-match analysis [age, gender, New York Heart Association (NYHA) and left ventricular ejection fraction] was performed, excluding patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).

Results: The mean age of the population was 67.0 ± 11.7 years, 63.5% male and 64.7% in NYHA III-IV. Group B patients were significantly older and had higher incidence of coronary disease, hypertension and mitral calcification. They also had a higher ejection fraction and transaortic gradients, and lower MR grade (mean MR: 2.8 vs 3.2) and pulmonary artery pressure. Mitral surgery consisted mainly of annuloplasty procedures (96%). Only 2 patients from the entire cohort were reoperated on/for the mitral valve. Thirty-day mortality rate was 0.3%. There was no difference in long-term survival and valve-related complications, even after case-matched analysis. CAD, history of cerebrovascular accident, permanent atrial fibrillation, renal failure and persistence of MR emerged as independent predictors of late mortality (P < 0.05). MR improved in 67.4% of patients from Group B against 82.3% from Group A (P = 0.011). Atrial fibrillation (AF) and higher MR grade at discharge were the only independent predictors for persistent MR (P < 0.05). Patients with persistent MR early after AVR had decreased late survival (hazard ratio: 4.9, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Secondary MR improves after AVR even without mitral surgery. Concomitant mitral surgery was significantly associated with greater improvement of postoperative MR, but had no significant impact on survival. However, patients who did not improve immediately after AVR had compromised survival. Patients in AF should have mitral valve repair at the time of surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezs676DOI Listing
July 2013

Severe tricuspid regurgitation after traumatic papillary muscle rupture.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2012 May 20;41(5):e128. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezs095DOI Listing
May 2012

Intracardiac aorto-right atrial tunnel.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2012 Aug 1;42(2):376. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezs062DOI Listing
August 2012

Aortic root enlargement does not increase the surgical risk and short-term patient outcome?

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2011 Aug 13;40(2):441-7. Epub 2011 Jan 13.

Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal.

Objective: To analyze the short-term outcome of aortic root enlargement (ARE) using death and adverse events as end points.

Methods: From January 1999 through December 2009, 3339 patients were subjected to aortic valve replacement (AVR). A total of 678 were considered to have small aortic roots (SARs) in which an aortic prosthesis size 21 mm or smaller was implanted. ARE using a bovine pericardial patch was performed in another 218 patients, who constitute the study population. This comprised 174 females (79.8%); the mean age was 69.4 ± 13.4 years (8-87, median 74 years), the body surface area (BSA) was 1.59 ± 0.15m² and the body mass index (BMI) 25.77 ± 3.16 k gm⁻², and 192 (88.5%) were in New York Heart Association (NYHA) II-III. Preoperative echocardiography revealed significant left ventricular (LV) dysfunction in 17 patients (8%), a mean aortic valve area of 0.57 ± 0.27 cm², and a mean gradient of 62.51 ± 21.25 mm Hg. A septal myectomy was performed in 129 subjects (59.2%), and other associated procedures, mostly coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG), in 60 (27.5%). Bioprostheses were implanted in 161 patients (73.9%). The mean valve size was 21.9 ± 1.0 (21-25). The mean extracorporeal circulation (ECC) and aortic clamping times were 82.8 ± 19.8 min and 56.8 ± 12.5 min, respectively.

Results: Hospital mortality was 0.9% (n=2) for ARE as compared with 0.6% (n=4) for the SAR group (p=0.8). Inotropic support was required in only 13 (5.9%) patients and the first 24-h chest drainage was 336.2 ± 202 ml. Other complications included pacemaker implantation (7.8%), acute renal failure (10.6%), respiratory (4.1%), and CVA/transient ischemic attack (CVA/TIA) (3.2%). Postoperative echocardiographic evaluation showed a significant decrease in peak and mean aortic gradients (23.7 ± 9.5 and 14 ± 6.2 mm Hg, respectively, p<0.0001). The mean indexed effective orifice area (iEOA) was 0.92 ± 0.01 cm² m⁻² (vs 0.84±0.07 cm² m⁻², in SAR, p<0.0001). Only 11% of patients (n=24) with ARE exhibited moderate patient-prosthesis mismatch (PPM) and none had severe PPM. Mean hospital stay was 9.7 ± 9.29 days (median 7 days).

Conclusions: With the growing number of patients with degenerative aortic valve pathology, mainly an older population, sometimes with calcified and fragile aortic wall, the issue of dealing with an SAR poses the dilemma of whether to implant a smaller prosthesis and admit some degree of PPM, or to enlarge the aortic root. This study demonstrates that the latter can be done in a safe and reproducible manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcts.2010.11.064DOI Listing
August 2011

Long-term follow-up of elderly patients subjected to aortic valve replacement with mechanical prostheses.

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg 2009 Oct 19;9(4):576-81. Epub 2009 Jun 19.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal.

We propose to analyse the long-term follow-up in patients older than 65 years of age who received a mechanical valve in the aortic position, using death and prosthetic-related complications as endpoints. From April 1988 to December 1995, 144 consecutive patients 65-75 years of age (mean 67.7+/-2.5) were enrolled. Total duration of follow-up was 1663 patient-years (median 13.0 years) and was complete for 99% of the patients. Thirty-day mortality was 1.4% (n=2). At the end of the study, 77 patients (53.8%) were alive, with ages ranging from 77 to 91 years (mean 82.1+/-3.2 years). The overall 5-, 10- and 15-year actuarial survival was 87.4%+/-3.0, 67.7%+/-4.3 and 58.5%+/-4.5, respectively. Freedom from stroke was 93.3+/-3.1%, 84.6+/-3.3% and 71.7+/-4.5%, respectively, after identical periods. Freedom from major bleeding was 97.2+/-1.1%, 90.4+/-3.5% and 86.4+/-4.0%, respectively. Freedom from endocarditis was 95.7+/-2.3%, 95.0+/-2.1% and 94.4+/-2.5%, respectively, and freedom from reoperation was 98.0+/-1.2%, 97.6+/-1.3%, 96.9+/-2.4% and 96.4+/-2.6%, respectively. Freedom from major valve-related events was 87.7+/-2.6%, 73.9+/-3.4% and 61.5+/-4.6%, respectively. Nearly two-thirds of the patients were alive and free from major adverse valve-related events. Hence, we consider implantation of a mechanical prosthesis in elderly patients safe and appropriate, but the choice must be tailored for each specific patient.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1510/icvts.2008.193482DOI Listing
October 2009

Diagnostic value of surgical lung biopsy: comparison with clinical and radiological diagnosis.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 2008 May 19;33(5):781-5. Epub 2008 Mar 19.

Centre of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University Hospital, Coimbra, Portugal.

Objective: To determine overall and disease-related accuracy of the clinical/imagiological evaluation for pulmonary infiltrates of unknown aetiology, compared with the pathological result of the surgical lung biopsy (SLB) and to evaluate the need for the latter in this setting.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of the experiences of SLB in 366 consecutive patients during the past 5 years. The presumptive diagnosis was based on clinical, imagiological and non-invasive or minimally invasive diagnostic procedures and compared with the gold standard of histological diagnosis by SLB. We considered five major pathological groups: diffuse parenchymal lung disease (DPLD), primitive neoplasms, metastases, infectious disease and other lesions. Patients with previous histological diagnosis were excluded.

Results: In 56.0% of patients (n=205) clinical evaluation reached a correct diagnosis, in 42.6% a new diagnosis was established (n=156) by the SLB, which was inconclusive in 1.4% (n=5). The pre-test probability for each disease was 85% for DPLD, 75% for infectious disease, 64% for primitive neoplasms and 60% for metastases. Overall sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values for the clinical/radiological diagnosis were 70%, 90%, 62% and 92%, respectively. For DPLD: 67%, 90%, 76% and 85%; primitive neoplasms: 47%, 90%, 46% and 90%; metastases: 99%, 79%, 60% and 99%; infectious disease 38%, 98%, 53% and 96%.

Conclusions: Despite a high sensitivity and specificity of the clinical and imagiological diagnosis, the positive predictive value was low, particularly in the malignancy group. SLB should be performed in pulmonary infiltrates of unknown aetiology because the clinical/imagiological assessment missed and/or misdiagnosed an important number of patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejcts.2008.02.008DOI Listing
May 2008
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