Sex Dimorphism in the Myocardial Response to Aortic Stenosis
Thomas A Treibel, Rebecca Kozor, Marianna Fontana, Camilla Torlasco, Patricia Reant, Sveeta Badiani, Maria Espinoza, John Yap, Javier Diez, Alun D Hughes, Guy Lloyd, James C Moon
Objectives: The goal of this study was to explore sex differences in myocardial remodeling in aortic stenosis (AS) by using echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), and biomarkers.
Background: AS is a disease of both valve and left ventricle (LV). Sex differences in LV remodeling are reported in AS and may play a role in disease phenotyping.
Methods: This study was a prospective assessment of patients awaiting surgical valve replacement for severe AS using echocardiography, the 6-min walking test, biomarkers (high-sensitivity troponin T and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide), and CMR with late gadolinium enhancement and extracellular volume fraction, which dichotomizes the myocardium into matrix and cell volumes. LV remodeling was categorized into normal geometry, concentric remodeling, concentric hypertrophy, and eccentric hypertrophy.
Results: In 168 patients (age 70 ± 10 years, 55% male, indexed aortic valve area 0.40 ± 0.13 cm2/m2, mean gradient 47 ± 4 mm Hg), no sex or age differences in AS severity or functional capacity (6-min walking test) were found. CMR captured sex dimorphism in LV remodeling not apparent by using 2-dimensional echocardiography. Normal geometry (82% female) and concentric remodeling (60% female) dominated in women; concentric hypertrophy (71% male) and eccentric hypertrophy (76% male) dominated in men.
Men also had more evidence of LV decompensation (pleural effusions), lower left ventricular ejection fraction (67 ± 16% vs. 74 ± 13%; p < 0.001), and higher levels of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (p = 0.04) and high-sensitivity troponin T (p = 0.01). Myocardial fibrosis was higher in men, with higher focal fibrosis (late gadolinium enhancement 16.5 ± 11.2 g vs. 10.5 ± 8.9 g; p < 0.001) and extracellular expansion (matrix volume 28.5 ± 8.8 ml/m2 vs. 21.4 ± 6.3 ml/m2; p < 0.001).
Conclusions: CMR revealed sex differences in associations between AS and myocardial remodeling not evident from echocardiography. Given equal valve severity, the myocardial response to AS seems more maladaptive in men than previously reported. (Regression of Myocardial Fibrosis After Aortic Valve Replacement [RELIEF-AS]; NCT02174471).
CITATION JACC Cardiovasc Imaging. 2018 Jul;11(7):962-973. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmg.2017.08.025. Epub 2017 Nov 15.