Mitral Valve Abnormalities Identified by Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Represent a Primary Phenotypic Expression of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

OBJECTIVES: 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: 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.

RESULTS: Anterior mitral leaflet (AML) and posterior mitral leaflet lengths were greater in HCM patients than in control subjects (26±5 versus 19±5 mm, P2 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; P2.0 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

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. 

PMID: 21670234

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