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Considerations & challenges of mitral valve repair in females: diagnosis, pathology, and intervention.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Disparities in mitral valve (MV) repair outcomes exist between men and women. This review highlights sex-specific differences in MV disease aetiology, diagnosis, as well as timing and type of intervention.

RECENT FINDINGS: Females present with more complicated disease: anterior or bileaflet prolapse, leaflet dysplasia/thickening, mitral annular calcification, and mixed mitral lesions. The absence of indexed echocardiographic mitral regurgitation (MR) severity parameters contributes to delayed intervention in women, resulting in more severe symptom burden at time of surgery. The sequelae of chronic MR also necessitate concomitant procedures (e.g. tricuspid repair, arrhythmia surgery) at the time of mitral surgery. Complex MV pathology, greater patient acuity, and more complicated procedures collectively pose challenges to successful MV repair and postoperative recovery. As a consequence, women receive disproportionately more MV replacement than men. In-hospital mortality after MV repair is also greater in women than men. Long-term outcomes of MV repair are comparable after risk-adjustment for preoperative status; however, women experience a greater incidence of postoperative heart failure.

SUMMARY: To address the inequity in MV repair outcomes between sexes, indexed diagnostic measurements, diligent surveillance of asymptomatic MR, increased recruitment of women in large clinical trials, and mandatory reporting of sex-based subgroup analyses are recommended.

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