Background: The current criteria for aortic stenosis (AS) severity have not incorporated sex-related differences. Objectives: The authors investigated sex-related serial changes in left ventricular (LV) structure/function and hemodynamics in AS. Methods: Serial echocardiograms of patients with severe AS (time 0; aortic valve area [AVA] ≤1 cm2) and ≥1 previous echocardiogram were compared between sexes. Results: Of 927 patients (time 0: AVA 0.87 ± 0.11 cm2, peak velocity 4.03 ± 0.65 m/s, mean Doppler systolic pressure gradient [MG] 40.6 ± 13.1 mm Hg), 393 (42%) were women. Women had smaller body surface area (BSA) (1.77 ± 0.22 m2 vs 2.03 ± 0.20 m2; P < 0.001), lower stroke volume (SV) (81.1 ± 17.2 mL vs 88.3 ± 18.6 mL; P < 0.001), and more frequent low-gradient severe AS (n = 196 [50%] vs n = 181 [34%]; P < 0.001). Women consistently had smaller AVA, indexed AVA (AVAi), peak velocity, and MG than men. The difference in aortic valve gradient lessened when AVAi ≤0.6 cm2/m2 was applied as severe AS (n = 694, women 43%, AVA 0.95 ± 0.17 cm2, AVAi 0.50 ± 0.07 cm2/m2). Peak velocity (3.83 ± 0.66 m/s) and MG (36.5 ± 13.2 mm Hg) were lower based on AVAi severity criteria compared to those based on AVA. Men had a lower left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (55.8% ± 14.8% vs 61.1% ± 11.7%; P < 0.001) and greater reduction in SV (−13.3 ± 19.6 mL vs −7.4 ± 16.4 mL; P < 0.001) as AS progressed from moderate to severe. Concentric LV hypertrophy was more common and E/eʹ higher in women (21.2 ± 10.9 vs 18.8 ± 9.1; P < 0.001). SV, LVEF, AVA, peak velocity, and MG became precipitously worse when AVA reached 1.2 cm2 in both sexes. Conclusions: Smaller BSA in women yields lower SV, resulting in lower aortic valve gradient than men. Indexed parameters by BSA are thus important in sex-related differences of aortic valve hemodynamics, but AVAi ≤0.6 cm2/m2 includes individuals with moderate AS. Elevated filling pressure is more common in women. Men experience a larger reduction in SV and LVEF as AS progresses. The definition of AS severity may require different criteria between sexes.
- aortic valve stenosis
- systolic function
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine