Objectives The purpose of this study was to compare women and men with organic mitral regurgitation (MR) using pre- and post-operative comprehensive imaging and to analyze the effect on outcome. Background Management of organic MR has no sex-specific guideline recommendation, and sex differences on the basis of comprehensive imaging and links to outcome remain largely unknown. Methods Comprehensive imaging (MR cause, quantitation, ventricular and atrial measures, and post-operative reverse cardiac remodeling) was analyzed in 217 women and 447 men who underwent operations for organic MR from 1990 to 2000 with long-term follow-up analysis. Results Pre-operatively, women and men had similar age and ejection fraction. In women, a smaller left ventricle (LV) more often labeled as normal size (23% vs. 13%), left atrium size, and regurgitant volume (all p < 0.01) contrasted with higher pulmonary pressure and more heart failure symptoms (41% vs. 19%), which more often triggered surgery (all p < 0.01). However, normalizing for body size, LV and left atrial diameters and regurgitant volume were at least as large in women versus men. Similar normalized MR severity was confirmed by similar post-operative reverse cardiac remodeling in women and men (all p > 0.06). During follow-up (10.4 ± 3.7 years) women had similar survival as men (p = 0.5) but experienced more heart failure (at 15 years: 36 ± 7% vs. 19 ± 3%; p = 0.03; adjusted hazard ratio 1.63 [95% confidence interval: 1.08 to 2.43]; p = 0.02) linked to more frequent pre-operative heart failure symptoms (p < 0.001). Conclusions Women who undergo mitral surgery for organic MR receive similar repair for similar degenerative lesions defined by echocardiography and enjoy similar survival and reverse cardiac remodeling, but they incur excess post-operative heart failure linked to worse pre-operative presentation. Imaging that does not account for body size shows smaller absolute cardiac dimensions and regurgitant volumes, which tends to underestimate MR severity in women.
- cardiac remodeling
- organic mitral regurgitation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine