Mild aortic valve disease and the diastolic pressure-volume relationship in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction

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Open Heart. 2021 Oct;8(2):e001701. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2021-001701.


OBJECTIVE: Mild aortic valve stenosis (AS) and aortic valve (AV) sclerosis are associated with diastolic dysfunction and increased mortality in the general population. This study specifically investigated the impact of mild AV disease in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF).

METHODS: Consecutive patients hospitalised with HFpEF (n=370) underwent assessment of cardiac structure and function and long-term clinical follow-up.

RESULTS: In the study cohort, 111 had mild AS (30%), 104 AV sclerosis (28%) and 155 a non-calcified AV (42%). Mild-to-moderate AV regurgitation (AR) was present in 64 (17%). Compared with patients with a normal AV, those with AV disease were older, with worse renal function and more atrial fibrillation. E/e’ increased from non-calcified AV to AV sclerosis to mild AS (13.8 (10.8-16.8) vs 15.0 (10.9-20.0) vs 18.0 (12.7-23.3), respectively; p<0.001)). Left ventricular diastolic pressure-volume relationships were shifted leftwards in patients with AS and AV sclerosis, but not influenced by AR. The left ventricular end-diastolic volume normalised at 20 mm Hg was 117±34 mL, 106±30 mL and 112±30 mL in non-calcified AV, AV sclerosis and mild AS, respectively (p=0.023), while 112±32 mL in mild-to-moderate AR. Over 30 months (IQR, 8-61 months), 247 patients died (67%). The presence of mild AV disease was associated with increased mortality, but this was no longer significant after adjusting for age and sex.

CONCLUSIONS: Low-grade AV disease is common among patients hospitalised for HFpEF and is associated with older age, atrial arrhythmia, renal dysfunction, higher left heart filling pressures and increased left ventricular chamber stiffness.

PMID:34670831 | DOI:10.1136/openhrt-2021-001701