A 78-year-old woman died of aspiration pneumonia. Her heart postmortem cardiac examination was significant for this finding.
The x-ray shows a C-shaped radiopaque mass encircling the annulus of the mitral valve (left side of the image). In the additional image is a base-of-heart dissection of a different case, showing the valves in the same layout for correlation to the x-ray. This radiopaque material is known as mitral annular calcification or MAC. It is a degenerative phenomenon in which calcific deposits occur along the mitral valve annulus in response to increased afterload (e.g. aortic stenosis, systemic hypertension, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy). Women are more likely to develop MAC than men.
- Melanie Bois
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