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Ann Intern Med. 1951;35(2):476-482. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-35-2-476
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More than 50 years ago Samways1 anticipated that "with the progress of cardiac surgery some of the severest cases of mitral stenosis will be relieved by slightly notching the mitral orifice." A few years later Lauder Brunton2 conducted some investigations on appropriate technics and suggested that relief might be obtained by surgical division of the diseased valve. This excited a storm of letters pro and con, and the Lancet3 published an editorial strongly critical of Lauder Brunton in which were raised all the theoretical disadvantages which are repeated today. Sir James McKenzie is said to have considered the proposal and


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