Prognostic significance of myocardial fibrosis quantification by histopathology and magnetic resonance imaging in patients with severe aortic valve disease

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2010 Jul 20;56(4):278-87. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2009.12.074.


Objectives: We sought to determine whether the quantitative assessment of myocardial fibrosis (MF), either by histopathology or by contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (ce-MRI), could help predict long-term survival after aortic valve replacement.

Background: Severe aortic valve disease is characterized by progressive accumulation of interstitial MF.

Methods: Fifty-four patients scheduled to undergo aortic valve replacement were examined by ce-MRI. Delayed-enhanced images were used for the quantitative assessment of MF. In addition, interstitial MF was quantified by histological analysis of myocardial samples obtained during open-heart surgery and stained with picrosirius red. The ce-MRI study was repeated 27+/-22 months after surgery to assess left ventricular functional improvement, and all patients were followed for 52+/-17 months to evaluate long-term survival.

Results: There was a good correlation between the amount of MF measured by histopathology and by ce-MRI (r=0.69, p<0.001). In addition, the amount of MF demonstrated a significant inverse correlation with the degree of left ventricular functional improvement after surgery (r=-0.42, p=0.04 for histopathology; r=-0.47, p=0.02 for ce-MRI). Kaplan-Meier analyses revealed that higher degrees of MF accumulation were associated with worse long-term survival (chi-square=6.32, p=0.01 for histopathology; chi-square=5.85, p=0.02 for ce-MRI). On multivariate Cox regression analyses, patient age and the amount of MF were found to be independent predictors of all-cause mortality.

Conclusions: The amount of MF, either by histopathology or by ce-MRI, is associated with the degree of left ventricular functional improvement and all-cause mortality late after aortic valve replacement in patients with severe aortic valve disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / complications
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / pathology*
  • Aortic Valve Stenosis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fibrosis / etiology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Young Adult