Background: Mitral annulus calcification (MAC) is an important echocardiographic finding that is significantly associated with valvular abnormalities. However, the effect of documented MAC on all-cause mortality is not known. Using a large database, associations between MAC and long-term all-cause mortality were evaluated.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of 3169 echocardiograms, which were performed for clinical reasons in southern California between 1983 and 1998 in patients between 16 and 99 years of age, was performed. Mortality data were extracted from the national mortality database at the end of 2007. Using uni- and multivariate analysis, associations between total mortality and the echocardiographic presence of MAC documented in the final report by the interpreting cardiologist were evaluated.
Results: MAC was significantly associated with all-cause mortality (174 of 334 [52.1%] patients with MAC died versus 709 of 2835 [25.0%] patients without MAC; OR 3.26 [95% CI 2.58 to 4.10]; P<0.001). Using multivariate analysis adjusting for age, left ventricular hypertrophy, sex, abnormal left ventricular systolic function and significant valvular abnormalities, MAC remained independently associated with all-cause mortality (OR 2.50 [95% CI 1.81 to 3.45]; P<0.001).
Conclusion: Using a large echocardiographic database, MAC was found to be independently associated with all-cause mortality. This finding confirms the importance of an abnormal mitral annulus as an important prognostic marker.
Keywords: Cardiovascular mortality; Coronary artery disease; Echocardiography; Mitral annulus calcification; Mitral valve disease; Mortality.