Original Research
Volume 14, Issue 4, April 2021, Pages 782-793
JOURNAL:JACC Cardiovasc Imaging.
Article Link

Mitral Valve Remodeling and Strain in Secondary Mitral Regurgitation: Comparison With Primary Regurgitation and Normal Valves
KC El-Tallawi, P Zhang, WA Zoghbi et al.

echocardiography; mitral valve; strain; valve regurgitation

OBJECTIVES - The aim of this study was to assess mitral valve (MV) remodeling and strain in patients with secondary mitral regurgitation (SMR) compared with primary MR (PMR) and normal valves.

BACKGROUND - A paucity of data exists on MV strain during the cardiac cycle in humans. Real-time 3-dimensional (3D) echocardiography allows for dynamic MV imaging, enabling computerized modeling of MV function in normal and disease states.

METHODS - Three-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) was performed in a total of 106 subjects: 36 with SMR, 38 with PMR, and 32 with normal valves; MR severity was at least moderate in both MR groups. Valve geometric parameters were quantitated and patient-specific 3D MV models generated in systole using a dedicated software. Global and regional peak systolic MV strain was computed using a proprietary software.

RESULTS - MV annular area was larger in both the SMR and PMR groups (12.7 ± 0.7 and 13.3 ± 0.7 cm2, respectively) compared with normal subjects (9.9 ± 0.3 cm2; p < 0.05). The leaflets also had significant remodeling, with total MV leaflet area larger in both SMR (16.2 ± 0.9 cm2) and PMR (15.6 ± 0.8 cm2) versus normal subjects (11.6 ± 0.4 cm2). Leaflets in SMR were thicker than those in normal subjects but slightly less than those with PMR posteriorly. Posterior leaflet strain was significantly higher than anterior leaflet strain in all 3 groups. Despite MV remodeling, strain in SMR (8.8 ± 0.3%) was overall similar to normal subjects (8.5 ± 0.2%), and both were lower than in PMR (12 ± 0.4%; p < 0.0001). Valve thickness, severity of MR, and primary etiology of MR were correlates of strain, with leaflet thickness being the multivariable parameter significantly associated with MV strain. In patients with less severe MR, anterior leaflet strain in SMR was lower than normal, whereas strain in PMR remained higher than normal.

CONCLUSIONS - The MV in secondary MR remodels significantly and similarly to PMR with a resultant larger annular area, leaflet surface area, and leaflet thickness compared with that of normal subjects. Despite these changes, MV strain remains close to or in some instances lower than normal and is significantly lower than that of PMR. Strain determination has the potential to improve characterization of MV mechano-biologic properties in humans and to evaluate its prognostic impact in patients with MR, with or without valve interventions.

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