The intelligent selection of patients for mitral valve surgery and the task of evaluating the results of such treatment must depend ultimately upon a clear understanding of the natural history of the disease. Unfortunately, the literature contains relatively little information on the long-term course and prognosis of mitral stenosis other than those studies based upon autopsy series. The purpose of this book is to present the results of a clinical investigation of 351 patients with mitral stenosis; it consists of documentations of the fate of these patients after the initial diagnosis, as well as follow-up examinations of survivors after a period of three to twenty years.
Detailed information on the clinical and laboratory findings at the time of the first examination is given. Although an attempt was made to include only those patients with predominant mitral stenosis, approximately one-fourth of the patients apparently had some mitral insufficiency as well.