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Circulation. 2011 Jul 5;124(1):40-7. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.985812. Epub 2011 Jun 13.

Mitral valve abnormalities identified by cardiovascular magnetic resonance represent a primary phenotypic expression of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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1
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center, Division of Cardiology, Tufts Medical Center, No. 70, 800 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111, USA. mmaron@tuftsmedialcenter.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Whether morphological abnormalities of the mitral valve represent part of the hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) disease process is unresolved. Therefore, we applied cardiovascular magnetic resonance to characterize mitral valve morphology in a large HCM cohort.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Cine cardiac magnetic resonance images were obtained in 172 HCM patients (age, 42±18 years; 62% men) and 172 control subjects. In addition, 15 HCM gene-positive/phenotype-negative relatives were studied. Anterior mitral leaflet (AML) and posterior mitral leaflet lengths were greater in HCM patients than in control subjects (26±5 versus 19±5 mm, P<0.001; and 14±4 versus 10±3 mm, P<0.001, respectively), including 59 patients (34%) in whom AML length alone, posterior mitral leaflet length alone, or both were particularly substantial (>2 SDs above controls). Leaflet length was increased compared with controls in virtually all HCM age groups, including young patients 15 to 20 years of age (AML, 26±5 versus 21±4 mm; P=0.0002) and those ≥60 years of age (AML, 26±4 versus 19±2 mm; P<0.001). No relation was evident between mitral leaflet length and LV thickness or mass index (P=0.09 and P=0.16, respectively). A ratio of AML length to LV outflow tract diameter of >2.0 was associated with subaortic obstruction (P=0.001). In addition, AML length in 15 genotype-positive relatives without LV hypertrophy exceeded that of matched control subjects (21±3 versus 18±3 mm; P<0.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

In HCM, mitral valve leaflets are elongated independently of other disease variables, likely constituting a primary phenotypic expression of this heterogeneous disease, and are an important morphological abnormality responsible for LV outflow obstruction in combination with small outflow tract dimension. These findings suggest a novel role for cardiac magnetic resonance in the assessment of HCM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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