Valvular Heart Disease in Women, Differential Remodeling, and Response to New Therapies

Jaya Chandrasekhar, George Dangas, Roxana Mehran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the United States, valvular heart disease (VHD) has a prevalence of 2.5%, most commonly presenting as aortic stenosis (AS) or mitral valve regurgitation (MR) and increasingly observed to be of a degenerative etiology. Women frequently have latent symptoms despite significant disease, and it is therefore pertinent to consider both clinical symptoms and imaging findings for decision-making on treatment. Indeed, significant advances have been made in noninvasive imaging allowing for more accurate diagnosis and disease prognostication. While echo remains the standard diagnostic test, multidetector computed tomography (MDCT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provide complementary information on aortic valve calcification and left ventricular (LV) function, respectively. For any given calcification load or increase in calcification density of the aortic valve, women have greater increase in aortic valve stenosis severity than men; thus, moderate AS in women warrants closer attention. MRI allows identification of different patterns of hypertrophy and remodeling, extent of LV fibrosis, and insights into differential reverse remodeling and clinical outcomes in men and women. In conjunction with surgical treatment, percutaneous technologies are being increasingly used in the management of VHD. Nearly 50% of patients undergoing transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) are women. In high- or intermediate-risk subjects with significant symptomatic AS, TAVR has been shown to be noninferior to surgical AVR (SAVR). Notably, whereas both treatment strategies are equally effective in men, transfemoral TAVR has been shown to be superior to SAVR resulting in better survival in women. Analogously, few data have examined sex differences with percutaneous MitraClip devices in the treatment of degenerative MR, and men and women appear to have equivalent composite outcomes. Randomized clinical trial data are presently awaited for outcomes in the percutaneous treatment of functional MR secondary to ischemic heart disease. This review discusses the current evidence in the diagnosis and treatment of VHD with a focus on sex differences in left-sided VHD and management in women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number74
JournalCurrent Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine
Volume19
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017

Keywords

  • Surgical AVR
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Women’s health

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