Gender differences in left ventricular function in patients with isolated aortic stenosis

Luca Favero, Massimo Giordan, Giuseppe Tarantini, Angelo Bruno Ramondo, Paolo Cardaioli, Giambattista Isabella, Raffaello Chioin, Mario Lupia, Renato Razzolini
Journal of Heart Valve Disease 2003, 12 (3): 313-8

BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: Hypertrophic response of the left ventricle to systolic overload in aortic stenosis appears to be gender-dependent.

METHODS: To examine gender-related differences in left ventricular (LV) function in patients with isolated severe aortic stenosis, 145 patients (65 women, 80 men; mean age 66 +/- 8 years; range: 50 to 89 years) with aortic valve area <0.8 cm2 who underwent cardiac catheterization were studied. No patient had associated myocardial, coronary or other valve disease; patients with diabetes mellitus and systemic hypertension were excluded.

RESULTS: No significant differences were seen in aortic valve area between men and women. Neither were there any significant gender-related differences in LV end-systolic and end-diastolic volumes, LV end-diastolic pressure, LV mass indexed by body surface area, LV mass:volume ratio, LV mass:height ratio, elastic stiffness constant, ejection fraction, pulmonary wedge pressure, pulmonary arteriolar resistance and preload. Women showed significantly higher mean transaortic gradient, LV peak systolic pressure and peak systolic stress, end-systolic stress:end-systolic volume ratio, heart rate and cardiac index. In the subgroup of patients with LV pressure >199 mmHg, the mass:volume ratio was increased in men compared with women; of note, the mass:volume ratio in women was not increased in this subgroup compared with the general population. LV pump function in this subgroup was normal and did not differ between men and women.

CONCLUSION: Although no clear-cut difference in hemodynamic parameters was seen, there was a trend towards a less compensatory increase in LV mass in females.

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