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You are here: Contents > 2013 > Volume 22 Number 2 March > AORTIC VALVE DISEASE > Circulating Collagen Metabolites, Myocardial Fibrosis and Heart Failure in Aortic Valve Stenosis

Circulating Collagen Metabolites, Myocardial Fibrosis and Heart Failure in Aortic Valve Stenosis

Markku Kupari, Mika Laine, Heikki Turto, Jyri Lommi, Kalervo Werkkala

Divisions of Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki, Minerva Research Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Background and aim of the study: Myocardial fibrosis predisposes to heart failure in aortic valve stenosis. The study aim was to determine the value of: (i) circulating collagen metabolites as biomarkers of left ventricular fibrosis and heart failure in aortic stenosis; and (ii) myocardial fibrosis as a predictor of postoperative outcome.

Methods: Among a total of 132 patients (mean age 68 ± 10 years) with severe aortic stenosis, measurements were made of circulating N-terminal propeptide of procollagen I (PINP), C-terminal telopeptide of collagen I (CITP) and N-terminal propeptide of procollagen III (PIIINP). Cardiac catheterization, echocardiography and a 6-min walk test were also performed. The aorta-to-coronary sinus concentration gradients of collagen metabolites were determined in 45 patients. Patients free from coronary artery disease (n = 85) underwent left ventricular biopsies for the assessment of myocardial fibrosis, one-year postoperative echocardiography and a 6-min walk test, and a long-term follow up for mortality.

Results: Neither peripheral collagen metabolites nor their transcardiac concentration gradients correlated with the extent of myocardial fibrosis. PIIINP demonstrated a net release from the heart, while PINP and CITP showed consistent falls in transcardiac concentrations that suggested extraction rather than release by the heart. Peripheral PIIINP correlated directly with the pulmonary wedge pressure (r = 0.50, p <0.001) and inversely with the left ventricular ejection fraction (r = -0.40, p = 0.00001) and 6-min walk (r = -0.29, p = 0.001). Similar associations with heart failure were found for CITP, but not for PINP. One-year postoperative changes in exercise capacity and left ventricular mass and function were independent of myocardial fibrosis, as was mortality over a median of 8.8 years.

Conclusion: Circulating collagen metabolites are not reliable surrogate measures of myocardial fibrosis in aortic stenosis, despite CITP and PIIINP being associated strongly with heart failure and left ventricular dysfunction. The results of surgery, including long-term survival, appear independent of the extent of myocardial fibrosis.


The Journal of Heart Valve Disease 2013;22:166-176

Circulating Collagen Metabolites, Myocardial Fibrosis and Heart Failure in Aortic Valve Stenosis

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