BACKGROUND: Chronic aortic regurgitation (AR) can be associated with myocardial scarring. It is unknown if scarring in AR is linked to poor outcomes and whether aortic valve replacement impacts this association. We investigated the relationship of myocardial scarring to mortality in chronic AR using cardiac magnetic resonance. METHODS AND RESULTS: We enrolled patients with moderate or greater AR between 2009 and 2019 and performed a blinded assessment of left ventricle remodeling, AR severity, and presence and extent of myocardial scarring by late gadolinium enhancement. The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. We followed 392 patients (median age 62 [interquartile range, 51–71] years), and 78.1% were men, and 25.8% had bicuspid valves. Median aortic valve regurgitant volume was 39 mL (in-terquartile range, 30–60). Myocardial scar was present in 131 (33.4%) patients. Aortic valve replacement was performed in 165 (49.1%) patients. During follow-up, up to 10.8 years (median 32.3 months [interquartile range, 9.8–69.5]), 51 patients (13%) died. Presence of myocardial scar (hazard ratio [HR], 3.62; 95% CI, 2.06–6.36; P<0.001), infarction scar (HR, 4.94; 95% CI, 2.58–9.48; P<0.001), and noninfarction scar (HR, 2.75; 95% CI, 1.39–5.44; P<0.004) were associated with mortality. In multi-variable analysis, the presence of scar remained independently associated with death (HR, 2.53; 95% CI, 1.15–5.57; P=0.02). Among patients with myocardial scar, aortic valve replacement was independently associated with a lower risk of mortality (HR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.12–0.97; P=0.03), even after adjustment for confounders. CONCLUSIONS: In aortic regurgitation, myocardial scar is independently associated with a 2.5-fold increase risk in mortality. Aortic valve replacement was associated with a reduction in risk of mortality in patients with scarring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere018731
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • Aortic regurgitation
  • Aortic valve replacement
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance
  • Myocardial scar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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