Intima-media thickness of the descending aorta in patients with bicuspid aortic valve

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Objective: A bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is associated with accelerated aortic valve disease (AVD) and abnormalities in aortic elasticity. We investigated the intima-media thickness of the descending aorta (AoIMT) in patients with AVD with or without an ascending aortic aneurysm (AscAA), in relation to BAV versus tricuspid aortic valve (TAV) phenotype, type of valve disease, cardiovascular risk factors, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with a known association with carotid IMT. Methods and results: 368 patients (210 with BAV, 158 with TAV,); mean age 64 ± 13 years) were examined using transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) before valvular and/or aortic surgery. No patient had a coronary disease (CAD). The AoIMT was measured on short-axis TEE images of the descending aorta using a semi-automated edge-detection technique. AoIMT was univariately (P < 0.05) related to age, blood pressure, smoking, creatinine, highly sensitive C-reactive protein, HDL, valve hemodynamics and BAV. In the TAV subgroup it was also associated with the rs200991 SNP. Using multivariate regression analysis, age was the main determinant for AoIMT (P < 0.001), followed by male gender (P = 0.02), BAV was no longer a significant predictor of AoIMT. AoIMT was still related to the rs200991 SNP in TAV (P = 0.034), and to creatinine in BAV (P = 0.019), when other variables were accounted for. Conclusions: Intima-media thickness of the descending aorta is not affected by aortic valve morphology (BAV/TAV); age is the main determinant of AoIMT. Genetic markers (SNPs) known to influence IMT in the carotid artery seem to correlate to IMT in the descending aorta only in patients with TAV.




Petrini, J., Yousry, M., Eriksson, P., Björk, H. M., Rickenlund, A., Franco-Cereceda, A., … Eriksson, M. J. (2016). Intima-media thickness of the descending aorta in patients with bicuspid aortic valve. IJC Heart and Vasculature, 11, 74–79.

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