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J Am Heart Assoc. 2019 Mar 5;8(5):e010974. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.118.010974.

Impact of Mitral Regurgitation Severity and Cause on Effort Tolerance-Integrated Stress Myocardial Perfusion Imaging and Echocardiographic Assessment of Patients With Known or Suspected Coronary Artery Disease Undergoing Exercise Treadmill Testing.

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1 Department of Medicine Weill Cornell Medical College New York NY.
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering Cornell University Ithaca NY.
3 Department of Medicine and Radiology Weill Cornell Medical College New York NY.
4 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center New York NY.
5 Veterans Affairs Medical Center University of California San Francisco CA.
6 Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School Boston MA.


Background Mitral regurgitation ( MR ) has the potential to impede exercise capacity; it is uncertain whether this is because of regurgitation itself or the underlying cause of valvular insufficiency. Methods and Results The population comprised 3267 patients who underwent exercise treadmill myocardial perfusion imaging and transthoracic echocardiography within 6±8 days. MR was present in 28%, including 176 patients (5%) with moderate or greater MR . Left ventricular systolic function significantly decreased and chamber size increased in relation to MR , paralleling increments in stress and rest myocardial perfusion deficits (all P<0.001). Exercise tolerance (metabolic equivalents of task) decreased stepwise in relation to graded MR severity ( P<0.05). Workload was significantly lower with mild versus no MR (mean±SD, 9.8±3.0 versus 10.1±3.0; P=0.02); magnitude of workload reduction significantly increased among patients with advanced versus those with mild MR (mean±SD, 8.6±3.0 versus 9.8±3.0; P<0.001). MR -associated exercise impairment was accompanied by lower heart rate and blood pressure augmentation and greater dyspnea (all P<0.05). Both functional and nonfunctional MR subgroups demonstrated significantly decreased effort tolerance in relation to MR severity ( P≤0.01); impairment was greater with functional MR ( P=0.04) corresponding to more advanced left ventricular dysfunction and dilation (both P<0.001). Functional MR predicted reduced metabolic equivalent of task-based effort (B=-0.39 [95% CI, -0.62 to -0.17]; P=0.001) independent of MR severity. Among the overall cohort, advanced (moderate or greater) MR was associated with reduced effort tolerance (B=-1.36 [95% CI, -1.80 to -0.93]; P<0.001) and remained significant ( P=0.01) after controlling for age, clinical indexes, stress perfusion defects, and left ventricular dysfunction. Conclusions MR impairs exercise tolerance independent of left ventricular ischemia, dysfunction, and clinical indexes. Magnitude of exercise impairment parallels severity of MR .


coronary artery disease; exercise stress test; mitral regurgitation

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