BACKGROUND - Ischemic mitral regurgitation (MR) is a frequent complication of myocardial infarction associated with left ventricular (LV) dilatation and dysfunction, which doubles mortality. At the molecular level, moderate ischemic MR is characterized by a biphasic response, with initial compensatory rise in prohypertrophic and antiapoptotic signals, followed by their exhaustion. We have shown that early MR repair 30 days after myocardial infarction is associated with LV reverse remodeling. It is not known whether MR repair performed after the exhaustion of compensatory mechanisms is also beneficial. We hypothesized that late repair will not result in LV reverse remodeling. METHODS AND RESULTS - Twelve sheep underwent distal left anterior descending coronary artery ligation to create apical myocardial infarction and implantation of an LV-to-left atrium shunt to create standardized moderate volume overload. At 90 days, animals were randomized to shunt closure (late repair) versus sham (no repair). LV remodeling was assessed by 3-dimensional echocardiography, dP/dt, preload-recruitable stroke work, and myocardial biopsies. At 90 days, animals had moderate volume overload, LV dilatation, and reduced ejection fraction (all P<0.01 versus baseline, P=NS between groups). Shunt closure at 90 days corrected the volume overload (regurgitant fraction 6±5% versus 27±16% for late repair versus sham, P<0.01) but was not associated with changes in LV volumes (end-diastolic volume 106±15 versus 110±22 mL; end-systolic volume 35±6 versus 36±6 mL) or increases in preload-recruitable stroke work (41±7 versus 39±13 mL mm Hg) or dP/dt (803±210 versus 732±194 mm Hg/s) at 135 days (all P=NS). Activated Akt, central in the hypertrophic process, and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), a critical node in the hypertrophic stimulus by cytokines, were equally depressed in both groups. CONCLUSIONS - Late correction of moderate volume overload after myocardial infarction did not improve LV volume or contractility. Upregulation of prohypertrophic intracellular pathways was not observed. This contrasts with previously reported study in which early repair (30 days) reversed LV remodeling. This suggests a window of opportunity to repair ischemic MR after which no beneficial effect on LV is observed, despite successful repair.
- Heart disease ischemic
- Mitral valve regurgitation