Hearts from 1,676 consecutive autopsies were examined over a 4 1/2 year period between 1980 and 1984. Forty-seven (4.3%) of 1,083 adult hearts were found to have from one to nine distinctive bulbous thickenings (BTs) involving the mitral valve chrodae tendineae. By light- and electron-microscopy, the BTs were found to consist of numerous myofibroblasts, collagen, and elastin layred over otherwise normal chordae and occasionally involving adjacent valve leaflets. No evidence of inflammation, rheumatic for otherwise, was found in histologic sections of the mitral, aortic, and tricuspid valves, or in samples of myocardium from all chambers. No BT was present in 593 hearts from infants and children, indicating that the lesions were acquired. Review of autopsy diagnoses showed that 14 (29.8%) of the 47 patients with BT had alcoholic hepatitis or micronodular cirrhosis, as opposed to 80 (7.7%) of the 1,036 patients without BT. This difference was highly statistically significant (P<0.01). The prevalence of viral liver disease was similar in the two groups. Of all patients with alcoholic liver disease, those with BT tended to be male and older. BT appears to be a distinctive process that is strongly correlated with alcoholic liver disease.
- bulbous thickening of mitral valve chordae
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine