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.
Copyright (c) 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.