Whether sex differences exist in the cardiac remodeling related to aortic regurgitation (AR) is unclear. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is the current non-invasive reference standard for cardiac remodeling assessment and can evaluate tissue characteristics. This prospective cohort included patients with AR undergoing CMR between 2011 and 2020. We excluded patients with confounding causes of remodeling. We quantified left ventricular (LV) volume, mass, AR severity, replacement fibrosis by late Gadolinium enhancement (LGE), and extracellular expansion by extracellular volume fraction (ECV). We studied 280 patients (109 women), median age 59.5 (47.2, 68.6) years (P for age = 0.25 between sexes). Women had smaller absolute LV volume and mass than men across the spectrum of regurgitation volume (RVol) (P ≤ 0.01). In patients with ≥ moderate AR and with adjustment for body surface area, indexed LV end-diastolic volume and mass were not significantly different between sexes (all P > 0.5) but men had larger indexed LV end systolic volume and lower LV ejection fraction (P ≥ 0.01). Women were more likely to have NYHA class II or greater symptoms than men but underwent surgery at a similar rate. Prevalence and extent of LGE was not significantly different between sexes or across RVol. Increasing RVol was independently associated with increasing ECV in women, but not in men (adjusted P for interaction = 0.03). In conclusion, women had lower LV volumes and mass than men across AR severity but their ECV increased with higher regurgitant volume, while ECV did not change in men. Indexing to body surface area did not fully correct for the cardiac remodeling differences between men and women. Women were more likely to have symptoms but underwent surgery at a similar rate to men. Further research is needed to determine if differences in ECV would translate to differences in the course of AR and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11334
Pages (from-to)11334
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 13 2023


  • Humans
  • Male
  • Female
  • Infant
  • Aortic Valve Insufficiency/diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Contrast Media
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Ventricular Remodeling
  • Gadolinium
  • Ventricular Function, Left
  • Stroke Volume
  • Fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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