BACKGROUND Chronic mitral regurgitation (MR) is a volume overload state that causes dilatation of the left sided cardiac chambers. The presence of significant dilatation is considered an indication for mitral valve intervention, however, aging may affect left ventricular (LV) remodeling independently of valvular disease. The objective of this study was to examine age-related changes in cardiac remodeling in a broad population of patients with chronic MR. METHODS Consecutive subjects that underwent echocardiography examinations recorded in the echocardiography database of a university-affiliated laboratory were retrieved. Subjects were categorized into none/mild, moderate or severe MR. For purposes of analysis of differences with aging, the population was divided into groups above and below 70 years of age and standard echocardiographic measurements were compared between the groups. RESULTS A total of 3492 subjects with at least moderate MR (mean age: 76 years, 52% female) were included in the study and compared to 18,250 subjects with none or mild MR. Older patients had significantly smaller LV end-diastolic diameters and volumes and significantly larger left atrial (LA) volumes when compared to the younger group. LA volume index increased in both age groups as MR severity increased, while LV end-diastolic volume increased with increasing MR only in the younger population. CONCLUSIONS Cardiac remodeling in chronic MR is significantly influenced by age. Guideline based recommendations of timing of mitral valve interventions in asymptomatic MR patients, based on assessment of LA and LV remodeling, may need to take age into account.
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