Aortic Stenosis

E-chocardiography Journal: Alphabetical List / Chronological List / Images / Home Page

Int J Cardiol. 2006 Apr 14;108(3):397-398.
Dual coronary artery fistula in a patient with aortic valve stenosis.
Patsouras D, Tsakas P, Korantzopoulos P, Siogas K.
Department of Cardiology, 'G. Hatzikosta' General Hospital, 45001 Ioannina, Greece.

Bilateral coronary artery fistulae originating from both right and left coronary arteries are rare congenital abnormalities that, in the adult population, are often associated with other acquired cardiovascular diseases. We briefly describe a 63-year-old woman with a dual coronary artery fistula and severe aortic stenosis. Both anomalies were successfully corrected surgically.

Eur J Echocardiogr. 2006 Mar;7(2):165-7.
Accurate assessment of aortic stenosis with intravenous contrast.
Dwivedi G, Hickman M, Senior R.
Department of Cardiology, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow, Middx. HA1 3UJ, United Kingdom.

We came across an interesting case of calcific aortic stenosis in which severity was inaccurately assessed on two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiogram resulting in catheterization. Use of intravenous transpulmonary contrast agent enhanced the Doppler signal enabling better quantification of the transvalvular gradient. Use of contrast in such difficult to image patients is very useful in establishing a correct diagnosis.

Int J Cardiol. 2006 Jan 11;
Echocardiographic anatomy of ascending aorta dilatation: Correlations with aortic valve morphology and function.
Della Corte A, Romano G, Tizzano F, Amarelli C, De Santo LS, De Feo M, Scardone M, Dialetto G, Covino FE, Cotrufo M.
Department of Cardiothoracic Sciences, Second University of Naples, Department of Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplants, Monaldi Hospital, Naples, Italy; PhD Program "Medical and Surgical Physiopathology of the Cardio-Respiratory System and Associated Biotechnologies", Second University of Naples, Italy.

BACKGROUND: Different anatomical forms of proximal aortic dilations associated with aortic valve disease can be distinguished by echocardiography. Differences in the anatomy could reflect different pathogeneses and need for different therapeutic approaches. The present study assessed the clinical features associated to each anatomical form, particularly focusing on the relations with valve morphology and function. METHODS: Trans-thoracic and trans-esophageal echocardiography reports of 552 adult patients (mean age 60.4+/-12.8 years; 379 male) with mild to severe proximal aorta dilation were reviewed. The relationships between the anatomy of aorta dilatation (distinguished into "root type" dilatation, with maximal enlargement at the sinuses, and "mid-ascending type", with maximal diameter at the mid-ascending tract) and aortic valve morphology (tricuspid/bicuspid) and function (normal/stenosis/regurgitation) were assessed. The relations with other clinico-echocardiographic variables were also tested in univariate and multivariate analysis. RESULTS: A "root type" dilatation was found in 4.9% tricuspid patients with stenosis, 32.3% with regurgitation, 22.5% with normal valve function (p=0.018). Dilatation prevailed at the mid-ascending tract in patients with bicuspid aortic valve, irrespective of valve function (stenotic: 92.9%, regurgitant: 87.9%, normal: 94.3%; p=0.23). Predominant root involvement was significantly more prevalent in male patients (24.8% versus 5.2% in females; p<0.001). In multivariate analysis, predominant aortic valve regurgitation (OR=1.83; p=0.028) independently predicted root site, while predominant aortic valve stenosis (OR=3.70; p=0.001), bicuspidity (OR=2.90; p=0.005) and female sex (OR=6.10; p<0.001) predicted mid-ascending site. CONCLUSIONS: Pathogenetical considerations arise from the evidence of preferential mid-ascending localization of bicuspid-associated aortic dilatations. This finding is consistent with previous studies on bicuspid valve models revealing a wall stress overload beyond the sino-tubular ridge.

Echocardiography. 2006 Jan;23(1):56-9.
Echocardiographic detection of intrapulmonary shunting in a patient with hepatopulmonary syndrome: case report and review of the literature.
Pacca R, Maddukuri P, Pandian NG, Kuvin JT.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Tufts-New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.

Transthoracic echocardiography is a useful tool in the evaluation of patients with intrapulmonary and intracardiac shunts. We describe a case of a 49-year-old female with severe hypoxemia in the setting of aortic stenosis and cirrhosis of the liver. The use of agitated saline contrast during an echocardiography study helped to establish the diagnosis of intrapulmonary arteriovenous shunting consistent with the hepatopulmonary syndrome, thereby confirming the etiology of her symptoms and laboratory findings. This case report highlights the utility of echocardiography in diagnosing intrapulmonary shunts and assists in the understanding of the pathophysiology of hypoxemia in such patients.

J Card Surg. 2006 Mar-Apr;21(2):182-4.
Ochronosis and aortic valve stenosis.
Butany JW, Naseemuddin A, Moshkowitz Y, Nair V.
Department of Pathology, University Health Network, Toronto, Canada.

Valvular heart disease has numerous etiologies. These range from congenital malformations to infectious and degenerative diseases. Clinically, these result in significant problems, the management of which can necessitate valve replacement with prosthetic heart valves. A rare cause is the deposition of foreign material in the valvular tissues, and these include inborn errors of metabolism of the essential amino acids. Alkaptonuria, an autosomal recessive trait, can result in the accumulation of excess homogentisic acid. This can manifest as pigmentation in the skin and other tissues, including heart valves. Accumulation of this pigment can lead to an inflammatory reaction and to progressive valve dysfunction.

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2006 Mar;27(1):90-92.
Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis as a Cause of Sudden Death: Two Case Reports.
Turan AA, Guven T, Karayel F, Pakis I, Gurpinar K, Ozaslan A.
From the *Council of Forensic Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey; and the daggerDepartment of Forensic Medicine, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.

Sudden death is defined as a death that occurs suddenly, develops during an unpredictable course, and is due to natural or unnatural causes. Although there is no universally standardized definition on how "sudden" a sudden death is, WHO defines sudden death as a death that occurs within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.The aim of this study is to present 2 rarely reported autopsy cases and to emphasize the importance of systemic autopsy at sudden death. On macroscopic examination, crescent-shaped, thick, fibrous membranes, located 5 mm and 3 mm away from the aortic valves, were detected. Fibrous membranes extended from the ventricular septum to the left ventricular outflow tract, thus apparently narrowing this region. Left ventricular wall and septum were slightly thickened, and there were scattered grayish-white areas of a small diameter. These became more intense in the septum and myocardium of the left ventricle on the anterior plane of the myocardial sections.In both cases, the aortic valves of were thickened and also markedly narrowed on one of them. In this case, the fibrous membrane adhered to the aortic valve and extended to the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve at one side. Both aortic valves comprised 3 leaflets. Other valves and coronary arteries showed no macroscopic pathologic findings.Microscopic examination of both cases demonstrated that the fibrous membrane comprising abundant collagen fibers was situated on the ventricular septum. Hypertrophy, moderate to severe interstitial fibrosis, and focal areas of scarring were observed in the specimens taken from the septal and ventricular myocardium. No abnormality was found on the conduction system examinations. Toxicologic analysis results in blood were negative.Based on the findings, membranous-type (discrete type) subvalvular aortic stenosis, diagnosed during the autopsy, was considered as the cause of sudden death in both cases.

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2006 Mar;27(1):90-92.
Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis as a Cause of Sudden Death: Two Case Reports.
Turan AA, Guven T, Karayel F, Pakis I, Gurpinar K, Ozaslan A.
From the *Council of Forensic Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey; and the daggerDepartment of Forensic Medicine, Cerrahpasa Medical Faculty, University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey.

Sudden death is defined as a death that occurs suddenly, develops during an unpredictable course, and is due to natural or unnatural causes. Although there is no universally standardized definition on how "sudden" a sudden death is, WHO defines sudden death as a death that occurs within 24 hours after the onset of symptoms.The aim of this study is to present 2 rarely reported autopsy cases and to emphasize the importance of systemic autopsy at sudden death. On macroscopic examination, crescent-shaped, thick, fibrous membranes, located 5 mm and 3 mm away from the aortic valves, were detected. Fibrous membranes extended from the ventricular septum to the left ventricular outflow tract, thus apparently narrowing this region. Left ventricular wall and septum were slightly thickened, and there were scattered grayish-white areas of a small diameter. These became more intense in the septum and myocardium of the left ventricle on the anterior plane of the myocardial sections.In both cases, the aortic valves of were thickened and also markedly narrowed on one of them. In this case, the fibrous membrane adhered to the aortic valve and extended to the anterior leaflet of the mitral valve at one side. Both aortic valves comprised 3 leaflets. Other valves and coronary arteries showed no macroscopic pathologic findings.Microscopic examination of both cases demonstrated that the fibrous membrane comprising abundant collagen fibers was situated on the ventricular septum. Hypertrophy, moderate to severe interstitial fibrosis, and focal areas of scarring were observed in the specimens taken from the septal and ventricular myocardium. No abnormality was found on the conduction system examinations. Toxicologic analysis results in blood were negative.Based on the findings, membranous-type (discrete type) subvalvular aortic stenosis, diagnosed during the autopsy, was considered as the cause of sudden death in both cases.

Kyobu Geka. 2006 Mar;59(3):181-6.
Surgical strategy for critical aoritc stenosis with small aortic annulus in the elderly patients
Kamisaka T, Uesaka T, Tanaka K, Morioka K, Ree I, Yamada N, Takamori A, Handa M, Tanabe S, Ihaya A, Sasaki M.
Department of Second Surgery, University of Fukui Faculty of Medical Sciences, Fukui, Japan.

BACKGROUND: There are an increasing number of elderly patients with critical aortic stenosis. This study was performed to evaluate the surgical outcome of aortic valve surgery for elderly patients with aortic stenosis. METHODS: Eleven patients aged over 75 years old (mean 79.7 +/- 4.4) underwent aortic valve replacement with stented bioprosthesis from May 2001 to August 2004. All of the patients had a history of congestive heart failure, syncope, or angina pectoris with multiple medical problems including renal dysfunction, diabetes mellitus, cerebral infarction, or coronary artery disease. The New York Heart Association (NYHA) classification ranged II to IV (mean 2.8 +/- 0.7). Their logistic Euro score ranged from 2.56 to 41.61 (mean 8.6 +/- 10.9). The concomitant procedures were annular enlargement in 2 and coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) in 3 patients. RESULTS: All patients tolerated these procedures well and were discharged except 1 patient who died from arrhythmia on the postoperative day 14. Postoperative echocardiogram after 3 months showed satisfactory decrease in peak left ventricular-aortic pressure gradient as well as left ventricular mass regression. All surviving patients are in NYHA class I. CONCLUSIONS: Aortic valve replacement provided satisfactory results for elderly patients. Surgical treatment should be considered even for the elderly patients with critical aortic stenosis under meticulous perioperative management.

Current Cardiology Reports
Curr Cardiol Rep. 2006 Mar;8(2):90-5.
Approach to the patient with aortic stenosis and low ejection fraction.
Martinez MW, Nishimura RA.
Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street, SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Aortic stenosis is the most common valvular abnormality in the United States today. It has been well established that most patients with severe symptomatic aortic stenosis should undergo operation with aortic valve replacement. This is particularly true when ventricular function is maintained, as the operative risk is low and the long-term outcome is excellent. In most patients with a reduced ejection fraction, there is an increased risk of operation and poorer long-term outcome. However, operation is still of benefit in most patients, as relief of an afterload mismatch will improve ventricular function and provide symptom relief. There is a subset of patients with left ventricular dysfunction at even higher risk who have a low aortic valve gradient and small valve area, some of whom may not have severe obstruction. Pharmacologic challenge may be necessary to identify those patients with true aortic stenosis and further helps determine those who would benefit from surgical intervention.

Circulation. 2006 Mar 7;113(9):e388-9.
Images in cardiovascular medicine. Left ventricle apical conduit to bilateral subclavian artery in a patient with porcelain aorta and aortic stenosis.
Chiu KM, Lin TY, Chen JS, Li SJ, Chan CY, Chu SH.
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Far-Eastern Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2006 Mar;4(2):203-9.
Percutaneous and surgical treatment of aortic stenosis.
Andrus BW, O'Rourke DJ.
Section of Cardiology, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH 03757, USA.

Aortic stenosis due to calcific degeneration is the most common valvular disorder among the elderly. With the growing elderly population, the prevalence of this disease will continue to increase. Based on converging lines of evidence linking calcific aortic stenosis with atherosclerosis, there has been interest in drug therapy to slow the progression of aortic stenosis. Unfortunately, recently completed prospective trials have been disappointing. Mechanical measures remain the principal form of therapy. Among percutaneous techniques, aortic valvuloplasty provides only transient and modest benefit at a significant risk of stroke and vascular injury. However, aortic valvuloplasty can play a useful role in stabilizing patients who require additional attention prior to definitive surgery. Building on this foundation, a bold new technique of percutaneously implanting a balloon-mounted valve has been developed. Although promising, there have been relatively few patients treated in this fashion (at a single center) and with only limited follow-up. Surgical treatment, specifically valve replacement, is still the definitive treatment of choice for patients with symptomatic aortic stenosis. Surgeons and patients must choose between a variety of models of both tissue and mechanical valves and a variety of surgical approaches. Recent trends include the use of tissue valves in increasingly younger patients and continued interest in alternatives to full median sternotomy in approaching the valve.

Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Mar;81(3):1114-6.
Acquired von Willebrand disease type IIA in patients with aortic valve stenosis.
Yoshida K, Tobe S, Kawata M.
Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Akashi Medical Center, Akashi, Japan.

The authors report the case of a 72-year-old woman with severe aortic stenosis who had a bleeding tendency develop due to type IIA acquired von Willebrand disease. She underwent aortic valve replacement with a 19-mm Freestyle stentless valve (Medtronic Inc, Minneapolis, MN). The postoperative course was uneventful and the bleeding tendency resolved. A review of this operative case from our institution demonstrated that aortic valve replacement was one of the most effective treatments of this disease, which can be potentially lifesaving.

Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2006 Feb 16;
Continuous spinal anesthesia for femoral fracture in two patients with severe aortic stenosis.
Fuzier R, Murat O, Gilbert ML, Magues JP, Fourcade O.
Service orthopedie et traumatologie, departement d'anesthesie, CHU de Purpan, place du docteur-Baylac, TSA 40031, 31059 Toulouse cedex 09, France.

Neuraxial blockade is usually not recommended in patients with aortic stenosis. However, neuroaxial blockade techniques such as continuous spinal or epidural anaesthesia can be tailored to minimize potentially dramatic consequences of decrease in systemic vascular resistance, often encountered after standard single shot spinal anaesthesia. We report the cases of two severe aortic stenosis patients (aortic valve area<0.5 cm(2)) that underwent hip surgery under continuous spinal anaesthesia. Small doses of isobaric 0.25% bupivacaine titrated to limit total dose below 5 mg, injected through the intrathecal catheter allowed the control of haemodynamic parameters. No clinical complication occurred in these two patients.

Kardiol Pol. 2006 Feb;64(2):190-2.
Unstable angina with subvalvular aortic stenosis in a 65-year-old woman.
Szwedo I, Kwinecki P, Winter M, Mieczynski M, Augustyn C, Gwozdz W, Rak M, Cichon R.
Dolnoslaskie Centrum Chorob Serca, NZOZ Medinet, ul. Kamienskiego 73A, 51-124 Wroclaw, tel.: +48 71 327 01 65, faks: +48 71 329 67 39, e-mail:

We describe a case of 65-year-old woman with unstable angina, who was addmited to our institution. Physical examination revealed the presence of a systolic cardiac murmur. Transthoracic echocardiography showed subvalvular aortic stenosis. The patient underwent successful coronary artery by-pass surgery and myectomy surgery. Diagnosis and treatment of subvalvular stenosis coexistant with coronary artery disease are discussed.

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2006 Feb;86(2):145-9. Epub 2006 Feb 20.
Symptomatic severe chronic aortic valve disease: a comparative study of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and echocardiography
Nigri M, Rochitte CE, Tarasoutchi F, Spina GS, Parga JR, Avila LF, Sampaio RO, Ramires JA, Grinberg M.
Instituto do Coracao, Hospital das Clinicas, FMUSP, Sao Paulo, SP.

OBJECTIVE: To show the real value of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMRI) in the evaluation of patients with symptomatic chronic aortic valve disease. METHODS: Seventy patients--35 with aortic stenosis (AoS) and 35 with aortic regurgitation (AoR) with surgical indication, who underwent preoperative echocardiogram (ECHO) and CMRI to assess ventricular function, volumes, and left ventricular mass index using cine magnetic resonance imaging, were studied. RESULTS: No statistically significant difference was observed between the AoS and AoR groups when ECHO and CMRI variables were compared. When compared with the type of symptom, ECHO and CMRI variables showed the same pattern. CONCLUSION: CMRI data were in agreement with ECHO data regarding the assessment of left ventricular volume and ejection fraction, and with the clinical presentation of patients with chronic aortic valve disease.

Cardiology. 2006 Feb 22;105(4):207-212
Atrial Natriuretic Peptide Predicts Impaired Atrial Remodeling and Occurrence of Late Postoperative Atrial Fibrillation after Surgery for Symptomatic Aortic Stenosis.
Yilmaz MB, Erbay AR, Balci M, Guray Y, Cihan G, Guray U, Kisacik HL, Korkmaz S.
Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, Cumhuriyet University, Sivas, Turkey.

Background: Aortic stenosis (AS) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are commonly encountered in clinical practice. Natriuretic peptides (NP) are endogenous cardiac hormones, which have been shown to increase in patients with heart failure, and valvular or congenital heart disease. We aimed to determine the association between atrial NP (ANP) and late postoperative AF after surgery for AS along with temporal changes in plasma ANP levels and left atrial (LA) volumes. Methods: 22 patients (16 males/6 females, mean age: 61 years) with symptomatic AS and 8 healthy volunteers (5 males/3 females) were enrolled into our study. All the patients studied underwent transthoracic echocardiography, which was repeated during the follow-up. N-terminal ANP (N-ANP) was studied initially and at the 2-month follow-up. Postoperatively, the patients were followed up for 12 months for AF attacks. Results: Patients with AS had significantly higher levels of N-ANP, left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic pressure, E/A ratio, LV mass and LA volumes compared to the controls. Patients with postoperative AF attacks were significantly older, had higher N-ANP levels and LV end-diastolic pressure in addition to higher LA volumes and longer symptom duration compared to patients without AF. Age at the time of operation (p = 0.011) and N-ANP at the 2nd month (p = 0.047) were found to be independent predictors for late AF attacks during follow-up in regression analysis. Besides, N-ANP (p < 0.001) at the 2-month follow-up independently predicted impaired LA remodeling. Conclusion: ANP might be an important factor to identify AS patients at risk for late postoperative AF attacks. Copyright (c) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Wien Klin Wochenschr. 2006 Feb;118(1-2):60-62.
Successful administration of levosimendan in a patient with low-gradient low-output aortic stenosis.
Hoefer D, Jonetzko P, Hoermann C, Laufer G, Poelzl G.
Department of Cardiac Surgery, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria,

Aortic valve replacement in patients suffering from low-gradient aortic stenosis and congestive heart failure is associated with high operative mortality, and the perioperative use of inotropes is common. Levosimendan is a calcium sensitizer with positive inotropic and vasodilatory effects and has been developed for treatment of decompensated heart failure. Although its use in patients with low-gradient aortic stenosis is not established, we hypothesized that it might have beneficial effects on outcome after aortic valve replacement. We report on a high-risk operation in a 73-year-old man with low-gradient aortic stenosis, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease. Levosimendan was administered perioperatively (0.1 mg/kg/min 16 hours prior to the operation without a loading dose) and allowed rapid recovery of the patient, who required only brief treatment in the intensive care unit. No levosimendan-specific adverse events were observed, in particular no hypotension. The excellent postoperative result was maintained after the patient was discharged from hospital.

Heart Lung Circ. 2006 Feb;15(1):56-8.
Pre-operative Use of Levosimendan in Two Patients with Severe Aortic Stenosis and Left Ventricular Dysfunction.
Prior DL, Flaim BD, Macisaac AI, Yii MY.
Cardiac Investigation Unit, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, P.O. Box 2900, Fitzroy, Vic. 3065, Australia.

We describe two patients with severe aortic stenosis, coronary artery disease, severe left ventricular dysfunction and heart failure in which the calcium-sensitising agent, levosimendan was administered prior to aortic valve replacement and coronary artery bypass graft surgery. In both cases, drug infusion was well tolerated at the doses used, heart failure improved significantly prior to surgery and peri-operative management was relatively uncomplicated in cases that would traditionally be considered high risk. Further investigation of the use of levosimendan both for treating heart failure in the presence of severe aortic stenosis and as pre-operative therapy is warranted.

Heart Lung Circ. 2006 Feb;15(1):18-23. Epub 2005 Jul 25.
Neonatal isolated critical aortic valve stenosis: balloon valvuloplasty or surgical valvotomy.
Zain Z, Zadinello M, Menahem S, Brizard C.
Department of Cardiology, Royal Children's Hospital, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Flemington Road, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Melbourne, Australia.

BACKGROUND: Open surgical valvotomy and transcatheter balloon valvuloplasty are recognised treatments for neonatal critical aortic stenosis. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was undertaken of all newborns with critical aortic valve stenosis between 1990 and 2000 presenting to a tertiary centre and who required intervention. The initial catheter and surgical intervention was generally based on the preference of the attending cardiologist and the anatomy of the aortic valve and in consultation with the cardiothoracic surgeon. The two groups were therefore not strictly comparable. Twelve were subjected to balloon valvuloplasty and thirteen to surgical valvotomy at a median age of 11 days (2-42 days) and 3.5 days (1-19 days) respectively. There was no significant difference in the timing of the procedure, weight of the infant, aortic annulus or left ventricular dimensions in either group. RESULTS: There was one unrelated hospital death in the balloon group compared to two in the surgical group both of whom had endocardial fibroelastosis. Mild to moderate aortic regurgitation was seen after both procedures. Four patients in the balloon valvuloplasty group, developed femoral artery thrombosis and two had cardiac perforation that resolved with non operative management. The mean Doppler gradient was reduced from 44+/-14mmHg to 13.4+/-5mmHg (p<0.01) in the valvuloplasty group compared to a reduction from 42+/-15mmHg to 27+/-8mmHg (p<0.05) in the surgical group. Five patients in the balloon group required re-intervention within 3 weeks to 21 months after the initial procedure. Two patients in the surgical group required a pulmonary autograft and Konno Procedure 3 and 5 years following surgical valvotomy. CONCLUSION: Both aortic valvulopasty and valvotomy offered effective short and medium term palliation. Balloon valvuloplasty patients had a higher re-intervention rate but shorter hospital and intensive care stay, reduced immediate morbidity and were associated with less severe aortic regurgitation.

Eur J Heart Fail. 2006 Feb 6;
The effect of aortic valve replacement on plasma B-type natriuretic peptide in patients with severe aortic stenosis - one year follow-up.
Neverdal NO, Knudsen CW, Husebye T, Vengen OA, Pepper J, Lie M, Tonnessen T.
Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Ulleval University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.

BACKGROUND: B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) is synthesized in cardiac tissue in response to increased wall stress and myocardial hypertrophy. AIMS: In patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) we examined the effect of aortic valve replacement (AVR) on plasma BNP and association between BNP and left ventricular mass index (LVMI) preoperatively and in the reverse-remodeling phase twelve months postoperatively. We also examined the correlation between BNP and NYHA-class and between BNP and age. METHODS AND RESULTS: Plasma BNP analyses and echocardiographic measurements were performed preoperatively, before discharge after AVR, and at twelve months in twenty-two patients. BNP was additionally measured at six months. Preoperatively, BNP was 283+/-45 pg/ml (mean+/-SEM). Following an immediate postoperative increase (441+/-38 pg/ml), BNP values decreased towards normal values at six and twelve months (139+/-25 and 130+/-18 pg/ml, respectively). LVMI was 206.5+/-15.8 g/m(2) preoperatively and decreased to 119.7+/-7.2 g/m(2) at twelve months with a correlation between LVMI and BNP preoperatively only (r=0.45, p<0.05). There was no correlation between BNP and NYHA-class, whereas BNP correlated to age both pre- and post-operatively. CONCLUSION: We report an increase in plasma BNP in patients with AS. Following a further transient increase postoperatively, BNP levels decreased at six and twelve months after AVR. BNP correlated with LVMI preoperatively, and with age both preoperatively and at twelve months.

Circulation. 2006 Feb 7;113(5):711-21.
Comment in: Circulation. 2006 Feb 7;113(5):604-6.
Projected valve area at normal flow rate improves the assessment of stenosis severity in patients with low-flow, low-gradient aortic stenosis: the multicenter TOPAS (Truly or Pseudo-Severe Aortic Stenosis) study.
Blais C, Burwash IG, Mundigler G, Dumesnil JG, Loho N, Rader F, Baumgartner H, Beanlands RS, Chayer B, Kadem L, Garcia D, Durand LG, Pibarot P.
Research Center of Laval Hospital/Quebec Heart Institute, Laval University, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada.

BACKGROUND: We sought to investigate the use of a new parameter, the projected effective orifice area (EOAproj) at normal transvalvular flow rate (250 mL/s), to better differentiate between truly severe (TS) and pseudo-severe (PS) aortic stenosis (AS) during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE). Changes in various parameters of stenosis severity have been used to differentiate between TS and PS AS during DSE. However, the magnitude of these changes lacks standardization because they are dependent on the variable magnitude of the transvalvular flow change occurring during DSE. METHODS AND RESULTS: The use of EOAproj to differentiate TS from PS AS was investigated in an in vitro model and in 23 patients with low-flow AS (indexed EOA <0.6 cm2/m2, left ventricular ejection fraction < or =40%) undergoing DSE and subsequent aortic valve replacement. For an individual valve, EOA was plotted against transvalvular flow (Q) at each dobutamine stage, and valve compliance (VC) was derived as the slope of the regression line fitted to the EOA versus Q plot; EOAproj was calculated as EOAproj=EOArest+VCx(250-Q(rest)), where EOArest and Q(rest) are the EOA and Q at rest. Classification between TS and PS was based on either response to flow increase (in vitro) or visual inspection at surgery (in vivo). EOAproj was the most accurate parameter in differentiating between TS and PS both in vitro and in vivo. In vivo, 15 of 23 patients (65%) had TS and 8 of 23 (35%) had PS. The percentage of correct classification was 83% for EOAproj and 91% for indexed EOAproj compared with percentages of 61% to 74% for the other echocardiographic parameters usually used for this purpose. CONCLUSIONS: EOAproj provides a standardized evaluation of AS severity with DSE and improves the diagnostic accuracy for distinguishing TS and PS AS in patients with low-flow, low-gradient AS.

Jpn J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2006 Jan;54(1):16-8.
Stenosis of the bicuspid aortic valve with systemic lupus erythematosus.
Yoshikai M, Muraya J, Fujita H.
Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Shin-Koga Hospital, Kurume, Fukuoka, Japan.

We herein present a rare case of severe aortic valve stenosis with a bicuspid valve in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus. The symptoms resulted from aortic valve stenosis, such as chest pain, dyspnea and syncope, which subsided after the insertion of an intra-aortic balloon pump. Thereafter, a calcified bicuspid aortic valve was successfully replaced with a mechanical valve. The pathological findings of the resected valve included irregular fibrotic thickening and marked calcification without any vegetation or thrombus formation. The efficacy of an intra-aortic balloon pump for the relief of symptoms associated with severe aortic valve stenosis indicates its usefulness for such critically ill patients prior to undergoing valvular surgery.

J Heart Valve Dis. 2006 Jan;15(1):100-6; discussion 106-7.
Serial echocardiographic assessment of neo-aortic regurgitation and root dimensions after the modified Ross procedure.
Takkenberg JJ, van Herwerden LA, Galema TW, Bekkers JA, Kleyburg-Linkers VE, Eijkemans MJ, Bogers AJ.
Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: Concern exists regarding progressive root dilatation after the modified Ross procedure. The present prospective echocardiographic study aimed to provide further insight into neo-aortic regurgitation (nAR) and neoaortic root dimensions over time in adult Rotterdam Ross root patients, and to study potential risk factors for nAR and dilatation. METHODS: All Rotterdam Ross patients aged > or = 16 years at surgery were subjected to a prospective biennial standardized echocardiographic protocol. Analysis over time of nAR according to the jet length and jet diameter method, autograft annulus and sinotubular junction (STJ) diameters was carried out using a multilevel linear model in 90 patients who had two or more echocardiographic measurements (mean 5; range 2-9; total 458) up to 14 years (mean 7 years) after surgery. RESULTS: The mean (+/- SE) initial postoperative jet length nAR was grade 0.9 +/- 0.09, and the annual increase 0.1 +/- 0.02 (p < 0.001). Initial annulus and STJ diameters were 25 +/- 0.5 mm and 36 +/- 0.6 mm, while annual increases were 0.4 +/- 0.07 mm and 0.5 +/- 0.09 mm, respectively (p < 0.001). Patients who eventually underwent an autograft reoperation (n = 10) had significantly greater initial nAR and greater progression of nAR, and a greater initial annulus diameter. The annual annulus and STJ diameter increase was greater in patients who underwent autograft reoperation. Compared to freestanding root replacement, patients with inclusion cylinder aortic root replacement had smaller initial annulus and STJ diameters that did not increase over time. Female gender was associated with a greater initial jet length and jet diameter nAR and a greater increase over time in jet diameter nAR. Preoperative aortic regurgitation or combined aortic stenosis and regurgitation were associated with greater initial annulus and STJ diameters. Neither bicuspid valve disease, patient age, preoperative ascending aorta aneurysm, prior aortic valve surgery nor hypertension had an effect on initial or progression of nAR, annulus, and STJ diameter. CONCLUSION: The annual increase in nAR and root dimensions is small, but persistent, after autograft aortic root replacement in adults, and further reoperations should be anticipated. Use of the inclusion cylinder root replacement technique seems to prevent neo-aortic dilatation.

J Heart Valve Dis. 2006 Jan;15(1):43-7; discussion 48.
Histological evaluation of autophagic cell death in calcified aortic valve stenosis.
Somers P, Knaapen M, Kockx M, van Cauwelaert P, Bortier H, Mistiaen W.
Department of Pathology, Middelheim Hospital Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: Calcification in aortic valves is the most common valvular lesion in western populations. This event is correlated with cellular degeneration in the valvular cusps, although there is no exact evidence how these cells die: this requires further exploration. METHODS: Twelve human severely calcified aortic valves obtained during cardiac surgery were studied by semi-quantitative analysis, and results compared with data from 12 human control aortic valves obtained during autopsy. Tissue analysis was by hematoxylin and eosin and Alcian blue staining. Detection of neurons was by immunohistochemical staining of PGP9.5 and neurofilament. In order to detect autophagy, an immunohistochemical staining for ubiquitin was used. The TUNEL technique was used to detect apoptosis. Co-localization of Alizarin red with ubiquitin labeling was performed on non-decalcified aortic valves. RESULTS: Hematoxylin and eosin staining showed moderate to severe mineralization in 10 of 12 patients in the surgical group, but in only one of 12 in the autopsy group. No significant observations were made with regard to PGP9.5 and neurofilament staining. Moderate to severe ubiquitin labeling was found initially in the majority of the surgical resection group (9/12) compared to a minority in the autopsy group (1/12). TUNEL-positive labeling was very rare and found mostly at the endothelial layer of the valvular cusps. CONCLUSION: Immunohistochemical methods showed the main cell death mechanism involved in the calcification of aortic leaflets to be autophagy rather than apoptosis. These findings suggest that autophagic cell death might play a role in the release of matrix vesicles in early degenerative aortic valves, thereby attracting inflammatory cells, and this could eventually lead to mineralization.

J Heart Valve Dis. 2006 Jan;15(1):28-33.
Loss of anti-aggregatory effects of aortic valve tissue in patients with aortic stenosis.
Chirkov YY, Mishra K, Chandy S, Holmes AS, Kanna R, Horowitz JD.
Cardiology Unit, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Department of Medicine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, S.A., Australia.

BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: Patients with aortic stenosis (AS) exhibit increased platelet aggregability, and thrombus formation has been documented on calcific and severely stenosed valves. Isolated porcine and canine aortic valves (AV) release nitric oxide (NO) and prostacyclin, which exert local antithrombotic effects; to date, this has not been studied in humans. In the present study the possible interaction of AV tissue with platelet aggregation was examined, using fragments of AV obtained from patients with AS and aortic regurgitation (AR). METHODS: Fragments of AV tissue, excised from patients undergoing AV replacement, were co-incubated with blood samples obtained from normal subjects. The direct effects of valve tissue from patients with AS (n = 14) or with predominant AR (n = 13) on ADP-induced platelet aggregation and intraplatelet cGMP and cAMP content were compared. RESULTS: In whole blood, non-calcified AV fragments from AR patients inhibited platelet aggregation by 57 +/- 6% (p < 0.01); in platelet-rich plasma results were analogous. In order to determine whether this anti-aggregatory effect could be attributed to the valvular release of NO or prostacyclin, intraplatelet cGMP and cAMP formation was assessed, respectively. While there were no significant changes in cGMP content, cAMP increased by 26 +/- 4% (p < 0.02). Both, anti-aggregatory and cAMP-stimulating effects were similar to those produced by 10 nM prostaglandin E1, a prostacyclin mimetic. Fragments from stenotic valves did not inhibit aggregation and did not affect cGMP or cAMP. Furthermore, fragments from heavily calcified regions potentiated aggregation and, in some cases, induced spontaneous aggregation. CONCLUSION: Minimally calcified aortic valves (i.e., AR) and, therefore, presumably also normal valves, exert anti-aggregatory effects, most likely via prostacyclin release. AS is associated with a loss of this effect, thus potentially contributing to thrombotic risk.

J Heart Valve Dis. 2006 Jan;15(1):1-4.
Does mild valvular aortic stenosis progress during childhood?
Ardura J, Gonzalez C, Andres J.
Pediatric Cardiology, University Hospital, Facultad de Medicina, Valladolid, Spain.

BACKGROUND AND AIM OF THE STUDY: An increased gradient in congenital valvular aortic stenosis (AS) during follow up remains the subject of controversy, and may determine a need for treatment in pediatric patients. It is hypothesized that a valvular gradient < 40 mmHg indicates a stable tendency at follow up for congenital valvular AS. METHODS: Twenty-five cases with valvular AS, isolated but not treated, were followed for eight years (range: 0.14-18.8 years). Clinical and complementary tests (electrocardiography, X-radiography) were undertaken. The gradient anatomy and function were measured using M-mode, two-dimensional, and Doppler echocardiography. RESULTS: No significant changes were noted in symptoms or at physical examination. Signs of cardiac enlargement were decreased (p < 0.001), and the functional status and gradient remained stable during the follow up period (mean difference 2.38 mmHg; p = 0.74). The relationship between gradient and age showed a slowly increasing trend (r = 0.20). CONCLUSION: The trend in gradient confirmed the stable nature of mild AS. Patients in whom gradients were < 40 mmHg at the time of diagnosis remained stable and required no treatment. Subsequent follow up control and clinical management of these patients may be performed at intervals of two years, or more.

Circulation. 2006 Jan 31;113(4):570-6. Epub 2006 Jan 9.
Impact of prosthesis-patient mismatch on cardiac events and midterm mortality after aortic valve replacement in patients with pure aortic stenosis.
Tasca G, Mhagna Z, Perotti S, Centurini PB, Sabatini T, Amaducci A, Brunelli F, Cirillo M, Dalla Tomba M, Quiani E, Troise G, Pibarot P.
Department of Cardiac Surgery, Private Nonprofit Hospital Poliambulanza, Brescia, Italy.

BACKGROUND: Prosthesis-patient mismatch (PPM) occurs when the effective orifice area (EOA) of the prosthesis being implanted is too small in relation to body size, thus causing abnormally high transvalvular pressure gradients. The objective of this study was to examine the midterm impact of PPM on overall mortality and cardiac events after aortic valve replacement in patients with pure aortic stenosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: The indexed EOA (EOAi) was estimated for each type and size of prosthesis being implanted in 315 consecutive patients with pure aortic stenosis. PPM was defined as an EOAi < or =0.80 cm2/m2 and was correlated with overall mortality and cardiac events. PPM was present in 47% of patients. The 5-year overall survival and cardiac event-free survival were 82+/-3% and 75+/-4%, respectively, in patients with PPM compared with 93+/-3% and 87+/-4% in patients with no PPM (P< or =0.01). In multivariate analysis, PPM was associated with a 4.2-fold (95% CI, 1.6 to 11.3) increase in the risk of overall mortality and 3.2-fold (95% CI, 1.5 to 6.8) increase in the risk of cardiac events. The other independent risk factors were history of heart failure, NHYA class III-IV, severe left ventricular hypertrophy, and absence of normal sinus rhythm before operation. CONCLUSIONS: PPM is an independent predictor of cardiac events and midterm mortality in patients with pure aortic stenosis undergoing aortic valve replacement. As opposed to other risk factors, PPM may be avoided or its severity may be reduced with the use of a preventive strategy at the time of operation.

Am J Cardiol. 2006 Jan 1;97(1):90-3.
Relation of circulating C-reactive protein to progression of aortic valve stenosis.
Sanchez PL, Santos JL, Kaski JC, Cruz I, Arribas A, Villacorta E, Cascon M, Palacios IF, Martin-Luengo C; Grupo AORTICA (Grupo de Estudio de la Estenosis Aortica).
Instituto de Ciencias del Corazon, Hospital Clinico Universitario de Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain.

C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of inflammation and predicts outcome in apparently healthy subjects and patients with coronary artery disease. Systemic inflammation is present in patients with aortic valve stenosis (AS). The aim of this prospective study was to assess whether CRP levels predict the progression of AS severity. Blood samples for high-sensitivity CRP measurements and echocardiographic data were obtained in 43 patients (70% men; mean age 73 +/- 8 years) with asymptomatic degenerative AS at study entry. On the basis of repeat echocardiographic assessment at 6 months, patients were grouped as (1) slow progressors (a decrease in aortic valve area [AVA] <0.05 cm2 and/or an increase in aortic peak velocity <0.15 m/s) and (2) rapid progressors (a decrease in AVA > or =0.05 cm2 and/or an increase in aortic peak velocity > or =0.15 m/s). Plasma CRP levels were significantly higher in rapid progressors than slow progressors (median 5.1 [range 2.3 to 11.3] vs 2.1 [range 1.0 to 3.1] mg/L, p = 0.007). In multivariate analysis, CRP levels >3 mg/L were independently associated with rapid AS progression (odds ratio 9.1, 95% confidence interval 2.2 to 37.3). In conclusion, CRP levels are higher in patients with degenerative AS who show rapid valve disease progression. These findings suggest that inflammation may have a pathogenic role in degenerative AS.

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2006 Jan;4(1):25-31.
Aortic stenosis and the failing heart.
Asch FM, Weissman NJ.
Washinton Hospital Center, Washington, DC 20010-2975, USA.

The combination of aortic stenosis and left-ventricular dysfunction is a challenging situation for the physician. Diagnosis of this condition requires a detailed evaluation to understand the etiology and reversibility of the ventricular dysfunction and to accurately determine the real severity of the stenosis. Whether the aortic stenosis the cause of the left ventricular failure or is an independent disease has significant diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic implications. Dobutamine echocardiography provides critical information to determine the real severity and the left ventricle's potential to recover (contractile reserve). Attempts to delay the progression of the aortic stenosis with medical treatment have been limited, and valve replacement remains the hallmark of ultimate treatment. If surgery is inadvertently delayed, left ventricular systolic dysfunction will result in clinically evident congestive heart failure and this situation carries a very high short-term mortality. Aortic valve replacement in this setting improves the outcome, but perioperative mortality is high, and particularly when coronary revascularization is also needed, there is no ventricular contractile reserve and transvalvular gradients are low. Adequate timing of surgery is extremely important and increasingly more difficult. Management decisions should be tailored by the results of dobutamine echocardiography and made on a case-by-case basis.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2005 Dec;18(12):1392-8.
Planimetric assessment of anatomic valve area overestimates effective orifice area in bicuspid aortic stenosis.
Donal E, Novaro GM, Deserrano D, Popovic ZB, Greenberg NL, Richards KE, Thomas JD, Garcia MJ.
Department of Cardiology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.

BACKGROUND: Although the continuity equation remains the noninvasive standard, planimetry using transesophageal echocardiography is often used to assess valve area for patients with aortic stenosis (AS). Not uncommonly, however, anatomic valve area (AVAA) obtained by planimetry overestimates continuity-derived effective valve area (AVAE) in bicuspid AS. METHODS: Transthoracic Doppler and transesophageal echocardiography were performed to obtain AVAE and AVAA in 31 patients with bicuspid AS (age 61 +/- 11 years) and 22 patients with degenerative tricuspid AS (age 71 +/- 13 years). Aortic root and left ventricular outflow tract dimensions and the directional angle of the stenotic jet were assessed in all patients. Using these data, a computational fluid dynamics model was constructed to test the effect of these variables in determining the relationship between AVAE and AVAA. RESULTS: For patients with tricuspid AS, the correlation between AVAA (1.15 +/- 0.36 cm2) and AVAE (1.13 +/- 0.46 cm2) was excellent (r = 0.91, P < .001, Delta = 0.02 +/- 0.21 cm2). However, AVAA was significantly larger (1.19 +/- 0.35 cm2) than AVAE (0.89 +/- 0.29 cm2) in the bicuspid AS group (r = 0.71, P < .001, Delta = 0.29 +/- 0.25 cm2). Computer simulation demonstrated that the observed discrepancy related to jet eccentricity. CONCLUSION: For a given anatomic orifice, functional severity tends to be greater in bicuspid AS than in tricuspid AS. This appears to be primarily related to greater jet eccentricity and less pressure recovery.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2005 Nov;18(11):1155-62.
Subvalvular left ventricular outflow obstruction for patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis: echocardiographic recognition and identification of patients at risk.
Bach DS.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, USA.

Persistently high gradients after aortic valve replacement (AVR), potentially caused by prosthesis-patient mismatch or superimposed but unrecognized nonvalvular obstruction, are associated with adverse clinical outcomes. Concomitant valvular and subvalvular left ventricular outflow obstruction was first hypothesized in 1957, and identified and further characterized in the 1960s, before the availability of echocardiography. Although obstruction as a result of subvalvular hypertrophy complicating valvular aortic stenosis has been subsequently described using echocardiography, it has largely fallen from consciousness in the preoperative and intraoperative echocardiographic assessment of patients undergoing AVR for aortic stenosis. As such, subvalvular left ventricular outflow obstruction complicating valvular aortic stenosis is a potentially preventable cause of persistently high gradients that remains relatively frequently encountered after AVR. This review is intended to draw attention to this phenomenon, to describe its mechanisms, and to provide guidance for its preoperative or intraoperative recognition using echocardiographic imaging techniques, with the goal that recognition and appropriate intervention at the time of AVR will decrease its clinical impact.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2001 Sep;14(9):863-6.
Impact of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography among patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis.
Nowrangi SK, Connolly HM, Freeman WK, Click RL.
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn. 55905, USA.

In this study, we sought to define the impact of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography (IOTEE) among patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for severe aortic stenosis. We reviewed the clinical data and preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative echocardiograms of all adults who underwent aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis and had IOTEE between January 1993 and December 1996. There were 383 patients (223 men, 160 women; mean age, 69 years). Fifty-four (14%) of the 383 patients had mitral valve surgery at the time of aortic valve replacement. In 6 patients, mitral valve surgery was not planned but was added because of findings on IOTEE. In 25 patients, mitral valve surgery was canceled on the basis of the IOTEE. Additional information was found by IOTEE in 25 patients before and after bypass, altering the surgical plan in 18 of these 25 patients. Overall, IOTEE altered the planned operation in 49 (13%) of the 383 patients. These data support the routine use of IOTEE among patients undergoing aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 May;33(6):1655-61.
Comment in: J Am Coll Cardiol. 2000 Jan;35(1):260-1.
"Overestimation" of catheter gradients by Doppler ultrasound in patients with aortic stenosis: a predictable manifestation of pressure recovery.
Baumgartner H, Stefenelli T, Niederberger J, Schima H, Maurer G.
Department of Cardiology, Vienna General Hospital, University of Vienna, Austria.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to evaluate whether pressure recovery can cause significant differences between Doppler and catheter gradients in patients with aortic stenosis, and whether these differences can be predicted by Doppler echocardiography. BACKGROUND: Pressure recovery has been shown to be a source of discrepancy between Doppler and catheter gradients across aortic stenoses in vitro. However, the clinical relevance of this phenomenon for the Doppler assessment of aortic stenosis has not been evaluated in patients. METHODS: Twenty-three patients with various degrees of aortic stenosis were studied with Doppler echocardiography and catheter technique within 24 h. Using an equation previously validated in vitro, pressure recovery was estimated from peak transvalvular velocity, aortic valve area and cross-sectional area of the ascending aorta and compared with the observed differences between Doppler and catheter gradients. Doppler gradients were also corrected by subtracting the predicted pressure recovery and then were compared with the observed catheter gradients. RESULTS: Predicted differences between Doppler and catheter gradients due to pressure recovery ranged from 5 to 82 mm Hg (mean +/- SD, 19 +/- 16 mm Hg) and 3 to 54 mm Hg (12 +/- 11 mm Hg) for peak and mean gradients, respectively. They compared well with the observed Doppler-catheter gradient differences, ranging from -5 to 75 mm Hg (18 +/- 18 mm Hg) and -7 to 48 mm Hg (11 +/- 13 mm Hg). Good correlation between predicted pressure recovery and observed gradient differences was found (r = 0.90 and 0.85, respectively). Both the noncorrected and the corrected Doppler gradients correlated well with the catheter gradients (r = 0.93-0.97). However, noncorrected Doppler gradients significantly overestimated the catheter gradients (slopes, 1.36 and 1.25 for peak and mean gradients, respectively), while Doppler gradients corrected for pressure recovery showed good agreement with catheter gradients (slopes, 1.03 and 0.96; standard error of estimate [SEE] 8.1 and 6.9 mm Hg; mean difference +/- SD 0.4 +/- 8.0 mm Hg and 1.1 +/- 6.8 mm Hg for peak and mean gradients, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Significant pressure recovery can occur in patients with aortic stenosis and can cause discrepancies between Doppler and catheter gradients. However, pressure recovery and the resulting differences between Doppler and catheter measurements may be predicted from Doppler velocity, aortic valve area and size of the ascending aorta.

Circulation 1997 May 6;95(9):2262-70
Otto CM, Burwash IG, Legget ME, Munt BI, Fujioka M, Healy NL, Kraft CD, Miyake-Hull CY, Schwaegler RG.
Prospective study of asymptomatic valvular aortic stenosis. Clinical, echocardiographic, and exercise predictors of outcome.
Circulation 1997 May 6;95(9):2262-70

BACKGROUND: Only limited data on the rate of hemodynamic progression and predictors of outcome in asymptomatic patients with valvular aortic stenosis (AS) are available. METHODS AND RESULTS: In 123 adults (mean age, 63 +/- 16 years) with asymptomatic AS, annual clinical, echocardiographic, and exercise data were obtained prospectively (mean follow-up of 2.5 +/- 1.4 years). Aortic jet velocity increased by 0.32 +/- 0.34 m/s per year and mean gradient by 7 +/- 7 mm Hg per year; valve area decreased by 0.12 +/- 0.19 cm2 per year. Kaplan-Meier event-free survival, with end points defined as death (n = 8) or aortic valve surgery (n = 48), was 93 +/- 5% at 1 year, 62 +/- 8% at 3 years, and 26 +/- 10% at 5 years. Univariate predictors of outcome included baseline jet velocity, mean gradient, valve area, and the rate of increase in jet velocity (all P < or = .001) but not age, sex, or cause of AS. Those with an end point had a smaller exercise increase in valve area, blood pressure, and cardiac output and a greater exercise decrease in stroke volume. Multivariate predictors of outcome were jet velocity at baseline (P < .0001), the rate of change in jet velocity (P < .0001), and functional status score (P = .002). The likelihood of remaining alive without valve replacement at 2 years was only 21 +/- 18% for a jet velocity at entry > 4.0 m/s, compared with 66 +/- 13% for a velocity of 3.0 to 4.0 m/s and 84 +/- 16% for a jet velocity < 3.0 m/s (P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: In adults with asymptomatic AS, the rate of hemodynamic progression and clinical outcome are predicted by jet velocity, the rate of change in jet velocity, and functional status.

Full text article.

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 1997 Apr;10(3):215-23.
Quantitative assessment of aortic stenosis by three-dimensional echocardiography.
Menzel T, Mohr-Kahaly S, Kolsch B, Kupferwasser I, Kopp H, Spiecker M, Wagner S, Meinert R, Pagnia F, Meyer J.
Second Medical Clinic and the Institute for Medical Statistics and Data Processing, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Federal Republic of Germany.

The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of three-dimensional echocardiography in aortic stenosis. Planimetric determination of valve area and dynamic volume-rendered display were performed. Three-dimensional echocardiography permits display of any desired plane of the cardiac structure. Thus in the case of aortic stenosis, the plane used for planimetric evaluation can be positioned exactly through the valve orifice. Dynamic volume-rendered display may provide a spatial demonstration of the stenotic valve. In 48 patients aortic valve area was measured by planimetry. The three-dimensional data set was acquired by a workstation in the course of a multiplane transesophageal examination. Results were compared with those obtained by multiplane transesophageal two-dimensional planimetric technique and invasive measurement. A dynamic three-dimensional reconstruction was displayed. Planimetric determination of valve area was possible in 42 (88%) of 48 cases. Statistical analysis of the data acquired showed a good agreement between three-dimensional echocardiography and transesophageal echocardiography (mean difference +0.018 cm2; SD = 0.086) and between three-dimensional echocardiography and the invasive technique (mean difference +0.012 cm2; SD = 0.12). Dynamic volume-rendered display was possible in 42 of 48 cases. Three-dimensional echocardiography permits accurate and reliable determination of aortic valve area. Preoperative spatial recognition of the stenotic valve is possible by dynamic volume-rendered display.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1994 Nov 1;24(5):1342-50. Related Articles, Links
Flow dependence of measures of aortic stenosis severity during exercise.
Burwash IG, Pearlman AS, Kraft CD, Miyake-Hull C, Healy NL, Otto CM.
Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.

OBJECTIVES. This study was designed to investigate the effect of altering transvalvular volume flow rate on indexes of aortic stenosis severity (valve area, valve resistance, percent left ventricular stroke work loss) derived by using Doppler echocardiography. BACKGROUND. Assessment of hemodynamic severity in aortic stenosis has been limited by the absence of an index that is independent of transvalvular flow rate. The traditional measurement of valve area by the Gorlin equation has been shown to vary with alterations in transvalvular flow. Recently, valve resistance and percent stroke work loss have been proposed as indexes that are relatively independent of flow. Although typically derived with invasive measurements, valve resistance and percent stroke work loss (in addition to continuity equation valve area) can be determined noninvasively with Doppler echocardiography. METHODS. We performed 110 symptom-limited exercise studies in 66 asymptomatic patients with valvular aortic stenosis. Continuity equation valve area, valve resistance (the ratio between mean transvalvular pressure gradient and mean flow rate) and the steady component of percent stroke work loss (the ratio between mean transvalvular pressure gradient and left ventricular systolic pressure) were assessed by Doppler echocardiography at rest and immediately after exercise. RESULTS. Mean transvalvular volume flow rate increased 24% (from [mean +/- SD] 319 +/- 80 to 400 +/- 140 ml/s, p < 0.0001); mean pressure gradient increased 36% (from 30 +/- 14 to 41 +/- 18 mm Hg, p < 0.0001); continuity equation aortic valve area increased 14% (from 1.38 +/- 0.50 to 1.58 +/- 0.69 cm2, p < 0.0001); valve resistance increased 13% (from 137 +/- 81 to 155 +/- 97, p < 0.0001); and percent stroke work loss increased 17% (from 17.4 +/- 6.9% to 20.3 +/- 8.5%, p < 0.0001). The effects of flow on valve area, valve resistance and percent stroke work loss were independent of the presence of an aortic valve area < or = or > 1.0 cm2 or reduced transvalvular flow rate (rest cardiac output < 4.5 liters/min). CONCLUSIONS. In patients with asymptomatic aortic stenosis, Doppler echocardiographic measures of valve area, valve resistance and percent stroke work loss are flow dependent. Flow dependence is observed with valve area < or = or > 1.0 cm2 and in the presence of both normal and low transvalvular flow states. The potential effects of transvalvular flow should be considered when interpreting Doppler measures of aortic stenosis severity.

Am J Cardiol. 1994 Oct 15;74(8):794-8.
Impact of chamber geometry and gender on left ventricular systolic function in patients > 60 years of age with aortic stenosis.
Aurigemma GP, Silver KH, McLaughlin M, Mauser J, Gaasch WH.
Division of Cardiology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester 01655.

In aortic stenosis, gender and other differences in the adaptive remodeling of the left ventricle have been described, but the influence of left ventricular (LV) geometry on systolic function is not widely appreciated. This study tested the hypothesis that the increased ejection fraction seen in some elderly women with aortic stenosis is due to changes in LV geometry, not increased myocardial mass or enhanced myocardial function. We therefore investigated gender-related differences in LV and myocardial function by analysis of end-systolic circumferential stress versus shortening relations in 65 patients (29 men and 36 women) with aortic stenosis who underwent cardiac catheterization and echocardiography. Despite similar degrees of aortic stenosis, there were significant differences between men and women with regard to LV geometry and function. When compared with men, women had higher peak LV pressures (205 +/- 27 vs 188 +/- 27 mm Hg, p < 0.01), higher ejection fractions (66 +/- 14% vs 57 +/- 18%, p < 0.05), smaller LV end-diastolic dimensions (43 +/- 8 vs 51 +/- 6 mm, p < 0.01) and higher relative wall thickness (0.66 +/- 0.27 vs 0.50 +/- 0.10, p < 0.01). LV mass was similar in the 2 groups. Mean values for stress were lower in women and there was a predominance of women at extremely low levels of stress; this subgroup had very high values for relative wall thickness and endocardial shortening, but overall stress-shortening relations were normal.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Am Heart J. 1994 Sep;128(3):526-32.
Quantitation of aortic valve area in aortic stenosis with multiplane transesophageal echocardiography: comparison with monoplane transesophageal approach.
Tribouilloy C, Shen WF, Peltier M, Mirode A, Rey JL, Lesbre JP.
Department of Cardiology, South Hospital, University of Picardie, France.

The accuracy and reliability of two-dimensional monoplane and multiplane transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in the quantitation of aortic valve area were compared in 54 patients with aortic stenosis. Fifty patients had aortic valve area calculated by the continuity equation and transthoracic Doppler echocardiography (TTE); 25 underwent cardiac catheterization. Two-dimensional echocardiograms adequate for quantitation of aortic valve area were obtained in 21 (39%) patients with monoplane TEE and in 51 (94%) with multiplane TEE. The mean aortic valve area determined by both TEE methods did not differ significantly from that derived from TTE and catheterization. The mean difference of aortic valve area measurements between monoplane TEE and TTE was -0.045 +/- 0.11 cm2; that between multiplane TEE and TTE was 0.001 +/- 0.11 cm2. Multiplane TEE provided a better correlation of aortic valve area measurements with either TTE (y = 0.97 x + 0.03; r = 0.96; SEE = 0.11 cm2) or catheterization (y = 0.84 x + 0.11; r = 0.90; SEE = 0.12 cm2) than the monoplane TEE (y = 0.88 x + 0.13; r = 0.83; SEE = 0.15 cm2 and y = 0.41 x + 0.42; r = 0.81; SEE = 0.15 cm2). Severe aortic stenosis with valve orifice area of < or = 0.75 cm2 during TTE examination was found by multiplane TEE with a sensitivity of 96% and a specificity of 96%. Thus aortic valve area can be directly and reliably measured by two-dimensional multiplane TEE in majority of patients with aortic stenosis.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Aug;22(2):529-34.
Planimetry of orifice area in aortic stenosis using multiplane transesophageal echocardiography.
Hoffmann R, Flachskampf FA, Hanrath P.
Medical Clinic I, Klinikum RWTH Aachen, Germany.

OBJECTIVES. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the orifice area in aortic stenosis can be determined accurately and reliably by multiplane transesophageal echocardiography. BACKGROUND. Monoplane transesophageal echocardiography has been used for planimetry of aortic valve orifice areas; however, obtaining a precise short-axis view is sometimes impossible. METHODS. In 41 consecutive patients with known valvular calcific aortic stenosis (20 men, mean age 64 +/- 9 years), aortic valve orifice area was measured by planimetry using a multiplane transesophageal echocardiographic probe that allows full rotation of the cross-sectional plane. Results were compared with invasive measurements obtained by the Gorlin formula and areas determined noninvasively by transthoracic echocardiography using the continuity equation. RESULTS. Multiplane transducer technology enabled the rotation of the cross-sectional plane from an exactly aligned long-axis view of the stenosed valve to a precise short-axis view without moving the tip of the echocardiographic probe, thus achieving an orifice cross section at a level predetermined in the long-axis view. Planimetry was feasible in 38 patients (93%). In three patients with pinhole stenosis (area determined by the Gorlin formula < 0.4 cm2), the valve area could not be exactly delineated. Correlation between areas derived by transesophageal echocardiographic planimetry (0.56 +/- 0.31 cm2) and by the Gorlin formula (0.58 +/- 0.31 cm2) was excellent (r = 0.95; standard deviation of regression [SDR] = 0.054; Y = 0.92X + 0.085, where Y = Gorlin area and X = planimetry area). Correlation between Gorlin- and continuity equation-derived areas (0.65 +/- 0.46 cm2) was r = 0.79; for continuity equation- and transesophageal planimetry-derived areas it was r = 0.83. Severe aortic stenosis (valve area < or = 0.75 cm2) was predicted with high sensitivity (96%) and specificity (88%). CONCLUSIONS. Multiplane transesophageal echocardiography is a practical and accurate clinical tool for the assessment of the severity of aortic stenosis.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Apr;21(5):1220-5.
Prevalence of aortic valve abnormalities in the elderly: an echocardiographic study of a random population sample.
Lindroos M, Kupari M, Heikkila J, Tilvis R.
First Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.

OBJECTIVES. This study was undertaken to elucidate the prevalence of aortic valve abnormalities in the elderly. BACKGROUND. The age of persons treated actively for valve disorders is increasing. More information is needed about the prevalence of aortic valve disease in old age. METHODS. Randomly selected men and women in the age groups 75 to 76, 80 to 81 and 85 to 86 years (n = 501) participating in the Helsinki Ageing Study were studied with imaging and Doppler echocardiography. Additionally, 76 persons 55 to 71 years of age were included. The systolic aortic valve area was calculated by the continuity equation. The velocity ratio (peak velocity in the left ventricular outflow tract/peak velocity across the aortic valve) was a supplementary criterion for aortic stenosis. Valve regurgitation and cusp calcification were assessed visually. RESULTS. Evaluation of the aortic valve was possible in 552 persons (96%). Mild calcification was found in 222 (40%) and severe calcification in 72 (13%). Two persons (0.4%) had an aortic valve prosthesis. Critical native valve stenosis (calculated aortic valve area < or = 0.8 cm2 and velocity ratio < or = 0.35) was found in 12 persons (2.2%). Six of these were symptomatic and potentially eligible for valvular surgery. All persons with aortic valve stenosis were in the three oldest age groups. The prevalence of critical aortic valve stenosis was 2.9% (95% confidence interval 1.4% to 5.1%) in the group 75 to 86 years of age. Aortic regurgitation, mostly mild, was found in 29% of the entire study cohort. CONCLUSIONS. Calcific aortic valve stenosis constitutes a significant health problem in the elderly. Only a minority of those with potentially operable aortic valve stenosis undergo surgery.

Am J Cardiol. 1993 Feb 1;71(4):322-7.
Rapidity of progression of aortic stenosis in patients with congenital bicuspid aortic valves.
Beppu S, Suzuki S, Matsuda H, Ohmori F, Nagata S, Miyatake K.
National Cardiovascular Center, Department of Cardiovascular Dynamics in Research Institute, Osaka, Japan.

The rapidity of progression of aortic stenosis in patients with congenital bicuspid aortic valves, and its relation to aging and valve anatomy are not well known. To elucidate these aspects, 75 patients aged 15 to 76 years were examined by echocardiography. Aortic valve sclerosis began from the second decade, the sclerotic index progressing with age (r = 0.72; p < 0.0001). Aortic valve calcium was noted from the fourth decade. Aortic valve pressure gradient increased approximately 18 mm Hg each decade, concomitant with progression of valve sclerosis (r = 0.78; p < 0.0001). Progression of cusp sclerosis was faster in patients with anteroposteriorly located cusps than in those with right-left-located cusps (p < 0.005), and was faster in those with eccentric cusps (width ratio of major and minor cusps > or = 1.2) than in those with symmetric cusps (p < 0.05). In patients with eccentric and anteroposteriorly located cusps, aortic valve pressure gradient increased 27 mm Hg per decade. In patients with congenital bicuspid aortic valves, the progression of aortic stenosis is rapid, and the rapidity depends to some extent on the position and eccentricity of the cusps.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1992 Nov 1;20(5):1160-7.
Physiologic changes with maximal exercise in asymptomatic valvular aortic stenosis assessed by Doppler echocardiography.
Otto CM, Pearlman AS, Kraft CD, Miyake-Hull CY, Burwash IG, Gardner CJ.
Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.

OBJECTIVES. We hypothesized that the physiologic response to exercise in valvular aortic stenosis could be measured by Doppler echocardiography. BACKGROUND. Data on exercise hemodynamics in patients with aortic stenosis are limited, yet Doppler echocardiography provides accurate, noninvasive measures of stenosis severity. METHODS. In 28 asymptomatic subjects with aortic stenosis maximal treadmill exercise testing was performed with Doppler recordings of left ventricular outflow tract and aortic jet velocities immediately before and after exercise. Maximal and mean volume flow rate (Qmax and Qmean), stroke volume, cardiac output, maximal and mean aortic jet velocity (Vmax, Vmean), mean pressure gradient (delta P) and continuity equation aortic valve area were calculated at rest and after exercise. The actual change from rest to exercise in Qmax and Vmax was compared with the predicted relation between these variables for a given orifice area. Subjects were classified into two groups: Group I (rest-exercise Vmax/Qmax slope > 0, n = 19) and Group II (slope < or = 0, n = 9). RESULTS. Mean exercise duration was 6.7 +/- 4.3 min. With exercise, Vmax increased from 3.99 +/- 0.93 to 4.61 +/- 1.12 m/s (p < 0.0001) and mean delta P increased from 39 +/- 20 to 52 +/- 26 mm Hg (p < 0.0001). Qmax rose with exercise (422 +/- 117 to 523 +/- 209 ml/s, p < 0.0001), but the systolic ejection period decreased (0.33 +/- 0.04 to 0.24 +/- 0.04, p < 0.0001), so that stroke volume decreased slightly (98 +/- 29 to 89 +/- 32 ml, p = 0.01). The increase in cardiac output with exercise (6.5 +/- 1.7 to 10.2 +/- 4.4 liters/min, p < 0.0001) was mediated by increased heart rate (71 +/- 17 to 147 +/- 28 beats/min, p < 0.0001). There was no significant change in the mean aortic valve area with exercise (1.17 +/- 0.45 to 1.28 +/- 0.65, p = 0.06). Compared with Group I patients, patients with a rest-exercise slope < or = 0 (Group II) tended to be older (69 +/- 12 vs. 58 +/- 19 years, p = 0.07) and had a trend toward a shorter exercise duration (5.3 +/- 2.9 vs. 7.3 +/- 4.9 min, p = 0.20). There was no difference between groups for heart rate at rest, blood pressure, stroke volume, cardiac output, Vmax, mean delta P or aortic valve area. With exercise, Group II subjects had a lower cardiac output (7.4 +/- 2.4 vs. 11.5 +/- 4.6 liters/min, p = 0.005) and a smaller percent increase in Vmax (3 +/- 9% vs. 22 +/- 14%, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS. Doppler echocardiography allows assessment of physiologic changes with exercise in adults with asymptomatic aortic stenosis. A majority of subjects show a rest-exercise response that closely parallels the predicted relation between Vmax and Qmax for a given orifice area. The potential utility of this approach for elucidating the relation between hemodynamic severity and clinical symptoms deserves further study.

Am J Cardiol. 1992 Jul 15;70(2):229-33.
Rate of progression of valvular aortic stenosis in adults.
Faggiano P, Ghizzoni G, Sorgato A, Sabatini T, Simoncelli U, Gardini A, Rusconi C.
Division of Cardiology, S. Orsola Hospital, Brescia, Italy.

Until recently the hemodynamic severity of valvular aortic stenosis (AS) was evaluated only by cardiac catheterization. Now, Doppler echocardiography allows a noninvasive and accurate assessment of AS severity and can be used to study its progression with time. The progression of AS was assessed during a follow-up period of 6 to 45 months (mean 18) by serial Doppler examinations in 45 adult patients (21 men and 24 women, mean age 72 +/- 10 years) with isolated AS. The following parameters were serially measured: left ventricular outflow tract diameter and velocity by pulsed Doppler, peak velocity of aortic flow by continuous-wave Doppler, to calculate peak gradient by the modified Bernoulli equation, and aortic valvular area by the continuity equation. At the initial observation, 13 of 45 patients (29%) were symptomatic (1 angina, 1 syncope and 11 dyspnea); during follow-up, 25 (55%) developed new symptoms or worsening of the previous ones (5 angina, 3 syncope and 17 dyspnea); 11 underwent aortic valve replacement and 3 died from cardiac events. Baseline peak velocity and gradient ranged between 2.5 and 6.6 m/s, and 25 and 174 mm Hg, respectively; aortic area ranged between 0.35 and 1.6 cm2. With time, mean peak velocity and gradient increased significantly from 4 +/- 0.7 to 4.7 +/- 0.8 m/s (p less than 0.01), and 64 +/- 30 to 88 +/- 30 mm Hg (p less than 0.01), respectively. A concomitant reduction in mean aortic area occurred (0.75 +/- 0.3 to 0.6 +/- 0.15 cm2; p less than 0.01).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Am Heart J. 1991 Nov;122(5):1415-22.
Two-dimensional transesophageal echocardiographic determination of aortic valve area in adults with aortic stenosis.
Stoddard MF, Arce J, Liddell NE, Peters G, Dillon S, Kupersmith J.
Cardiovascular Division, University of Louisville, School of Medicine, KY 40202.

To determine if aortic stenosis severity could be accurately measured by two-dimensional transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), 62 adult subjects (mean age 66 +/- 12 years) with aortic stenosis had their aortic valve area (AVA) determined by direct planimetry using TEE, and with the continuity equation using combined transthoracic Doppler and two-dimensional echocardiography (TTE). Eighteen subjects had AVA calculated by the Gorlin method during catheterization. An excellent correlation (r = 0.93, SEE = 0.17 cm2) was found between AVA determined by TEE (mean 1.24 +/- 0.49 cm2; range 0.40 to 2.26 cm2) and TTE (mean 1.23 +/- 0.46 cm2; range 0.40 to 2.23 cm2). The absolute (0.13 +/- 0.12 cm2) and percent (10.8 +/- 8.9%) differences between AVA determined by TEE versus TTE were small. Excellent correlations between AVA by TEE and TTE were also found in subjects with normal systolic function (r = 0.95, SEE = 0.14 cm2; n = 38) and impaired function (r = 0.91, SEE = 0.21 cm2; n = 24). AVA determined by catheterization correlated better with AVA measured by TEE (r = 0.91, SEE = 0.15 cm2) than AVA measured with TTE (r = 0.84, SEE = 0.19 cm2). These data demonstrate that AVA can be accurately measured by direct planimetry using TEE in subjects with aortic stenosis. TEE may become an important adjunct to transthoracic echocardiography in the assessment of aortic stenosis severity.

Am J Cardiol. 1991 May 1;67(11):1007-12.
Determination of severity of valvular aortic stenosis by Doppler echocardiography and relation of findings to clinical outcome and agreement with hemodynamic measurements determined at cardiac catheterization.
Galan A, Zoghbi WA, Quinones MA.
Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030.

To determine the relation of Doppler findings to clinical outcome and the agreement between Doppler and cardiac catheterization in the assessment of aortic stenosis (AS) severity, 510 consecutive patients with suspected AS studied in our laboratory were analyzed. Adequate echocardiographic and Doppler examinations were obtained in 498 patients or 98% of the population. Clinical data were available for analysis in 497 patients. In 160 patients, Doppler demonstrated an aortic valve area less than or equal to 0.75 cm2 or a peak jet velocity greater than or equal to 4.5 m/s consistent with critical AS. In the subgroup with cardiac catheterization (n = 105), Doppler was 97% accurate. Aortic valve replacement or balloon valvuloplasty was performed in 109 patients, 106 of whom were symptomatic. Noncritical AS was detected by Doppler in 327 patients, with 95% accuracy in the subgroup with cardiac catheterization (n = 133). Aortic valve replacement was performed in 15 patients with symptoms of AS and with valve areas assessed by Doppler to be between 0.76 and 0.80 cm2 or with peak jet velocities greater than 3.5 m/s. In 20 patients, aortic valve replacement was performed because of moderate to severe aortic regurgitation, and in 11 elderly (greater than 70 years old) patients with valve areas between 0.80 and 1.0 cm2, valve replacement was performed at the time of coronary artery bypass surgery in an attempt to prevent the need for a repeat surgical procedure in the future. These observations allow the following conclusions. In the symptomatic patient with critical or near critical AS by Doppler, cardiac catheterization does not provide additional information beyond that provided by Doppler.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1990 Apr;15(5):1012-7.
Comment in: J Am Coll Cardiol. 1990 Apr;15(5):1018-20.
The natural history of adults with asymptomatic, hemodynamically significant aortic stenosis.
Pellikka PA, Nishimura RA, Bailey KR, Tajik AJ.
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.

The natural history of asymptomatic, hemodynamically significant, valvular aortic stenosis in adults was documented. Of 471 patients with aortic stenosis identified by Doppler echocardiography (peak systolic flow velocity greater than or equal to 4 m/s) from January 1984 through August 1987, 143 were asymptomatic and had isolated valvular aortic stenosis. Thirty patients underwent aortic valve intervention within 3 months (group 1); the remaining 113 patients did not have an intervention within 3 months (group 2). Follow-up information was available for all patients; the mean duration of follow-up study was 20 months (range 6 to 48). Three cardiac events occurred in the 30 group 1 patients after operation (two deaths, one reoperation). Among the 113 group 2 patients, three had cardiac death presumed to be a result of the aortic stenosis; all three developed symptoms at least 3 months before death. The actuarial probability of remaining free of symptoms of angina, dyspnea or syncope for group 2 was 86% at 1 year and 62% at 2 years. For this group, the 1 and 2 year probabilities of remaining free of cardiac events, including aortic valve intervention or cardiac death, were 93% and 74%, respectively. Of all clinical and echocardiographic variables (group 2), only Doppler flow velocity (p = 0.004) and ejection fraction (p = 0.01) were independent predictors of subsequent cardiac events. Among the 44 patients (groups 1 and 2) with a flow velocity greater than or equal to 4.5 m/s, the relative risk of sustaining a cardiac event (by Cox regression analysis) was 4.9 (p = 0.004).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Am Heart J. 1990 Feb;119(2 Pt 1):331-8.
Progression of aortic stenosis in adults: new appraisal using Doppler echocardiography.
Roger VL, Tajik AJ, Bailey KR, Oh JK, Taylor CL, Seward JB.
Department of Health Sciences Research, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.

This study examined progression of aortic stenosis (AS) as assessed by Doppler echocardiography. One hundred twelve consecutive adult patients had calcific AS and underwent three examinations during a mean 25-month period (range 7 to 54 months). At the time of entry into the study, mean values for initial peak aortic velocity and ejection fraction (EF) were 2.9 +/- 0.7 m/sec and 63 +/- 10%, respectively; 52% of the patients were symptomatic. At the third examination the percentage of symptomatic patients increased to 65% (p = 0.0039 compared to baseline values), and the aortic peak velocity increased to 3.3 +/- 0.8 m/sec (p less than 0.001). Age, sex, and EF were not predictors of progression. Documented coronary artery disease (in 57 patients) did not affect progression, and neither did the aortic peak velocity at the time of entry into the study. Thirty-eight patients reported an increase in symptoms from the first to third examination, and their rate of progression was significantly different from that of the rest of the population: 0.33 +/- 0.50 m/sec/yr compared to 0.18 +/- 0.26 m/sec/yr (p less than 0.03).

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1989 Mar 1;13(3):545-50.
Hemodynamic progression of aortic stenosis in adults assessed by Doppler echocardiography.
Otto CM, Pearlman AS, Gardner CL.
Division of Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.

Doppler echocardiography was used to follow the hemodynamic severity of aortic stenosis. First, the reproducibility of repeat recordings (mean interval 28 +/- 36 days) of aortic jet velocity, made by two independent observers, was tested in 38 adults with aortic stenosis and unchanged clinical status. The two recordings of maximal velocity correlated well (r = 0.96, y = 0.88x + 0.46m/s, SEE = 0.21 m/s) with a mean coefficient of variation of 3.2%. Repeat recording of left ventricular outflow tract velocity by two independent observers in 10 other patients with aortic stenosis also correlated well (r = 0.94, y = 1.06x + 0.0 m/s, SEE = 0.06 m/s) with a mean coefficient of variation of 4.6%. Next, Doppler echocardiography was used to study 42 patients with aortic stenosis (mean age 66 years) over a follow-up interval of 6 to 43 months (mean 20). Maximal aortic jet velocity increased by 0.36 m/s per year (range -0.3 to +1.0 m/s per year). Mean transaortic pressure gradient changed by -7 to +23 (mean 8) mm Hg/year. Aortic valve area by the continuity equation (n = 25) decreased by 0 to 0.5 cm2/year (mean decrease 0.1 cm2/year). Some patients had a worsening of stenosis (decrease in valve area) even though they had no change or a decrease in pressure gradient, because of concurrent decreases in transaortic volume flow. Twenty-one patients (50%) developed new or progressive symptoms of aortic stenosis necessitating valve replacement.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1988 Jun;11(6):1227-34.
Prediction of the severity of aortic stenosis by Doppler aortic valve area determination: prospective Doppler-catheterization correlation in 100 patients.
Oh JK, Taliercio CP, Holmes DR Jr, Reeder GS, Bailey KR, Seward JB, Tajik AJ.
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.

Two-dimensional and Doppler echocardiography was performed prospectively in 100 patients with aortic stenosis who were undergoing clinically indicated cardiac catheterization. The purpose of this study procedure was to determine various Doppler variables predictive of the severity of aortic stenosis and to compare Doppler- and catheterization-derived aortic valve areas. Doppler-derived mean gradient correlated well with corresponding gradient by catheterization (r = 0.86). Peak Doppler aortic flow velocity greater than or equal to 4.5 m/s and Doppler-derived mean aortic gradient greater than or equal to 50 mm Hg were specific (93 and 94%, respectively) for severe aortic stenosis (defined as catheterization-derived aortic valve area less than or equal to 0.75 cm2) but were not sensitive (44 and 48%, respectively). Doppler-derived aortic valve area calculated by the continuity equation correlated well with catheterization-derived aortic valve area calculated by the Gorlin equation when either the time-velocity integral ratio (r = 0.83) or the peak flow velocity ratio (r = 0.80) between the left ventricular outflow tract and the aortic valve was used in the continuity equation. A velocity ratio of less than or equal to 0.25 alone was sensitive (92%) in detecting severe aortic stenosis. Therefore, use of various Doppler-derived values allows reliable noninvasive estimation of the severity of aortic stenosis.

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1986 Mar;7(3):509-17.
Determination of the stenotic aortic valve area in adults using Doppler echocardiography.
Otto CM, Pearlman AS, Comess KA, Reamer RP, Janko CL, Huntsman LL.

The severity of aortic stenosis was evaluated by Doppler echocardiography in 48 adults (mean age 67 years) undergoing cardiac catheterization. Maximal Doppler systolic gradient correlated with peak to peak pressure gradient (r = 0.79, y = 0.63x + 25.2 mm Hg) and mean Doppler gradient correlated with mean pressure gradient (r = 0.77, y = 0.59x + 10.0 mm Hg) by manometry. The transvalvular pressure gradient is flow dependent, however, and associated left ventricular dysfunction was common in our patients (33%). Thus, of the 32 patients with an aortic valve area less than or equal to 1.0 cm2 at catheterization, 6 (19%) had a peak Doppler gradient less than 50 mm Hg. To take into account the influence of volume flow, aortic valve area was calculated as stroke volume, measured simultaneously by thermodilution, divided by the Doppler systolic velocity integral in the aortic jet. Aortic valve areas calculated by this method were compared with results at catheterization in the total group (r = 0.71). Significant aortic insufficiency was present in 71% of the population. In the subgroup without significant coexisting aortic insufficiency, closer agreement of valve area with catheterization was noted (n = 14, r = 0.91, y = 0.83x + 0.24 cm2). Transaortic stroke volume can be determined noninvasively by Doppler echocardiographic measures in the left ventricular outflow tract, just proximal to the stenotic valve. Aortic valve area can then be calculated as left ventricular outflow tract cross-sectional area times the systolic velocity integral of outflow tract flow, divided by the systolic velocity integral in the aortic jet.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Am Heart J. 1982 Feb;103(2):202-3.
Reliable estimation of peak left ventricular systolic pressure by M-mode echographic-determined end-diastolic relative wall thickness: identification of severe valvular aortic stenosis in adult patients.
Reichek N, Devereux RB.

In compensated hearts, left ventricular systolic pressure (LVSP) can be estimated from the ratio of LV wall thickness to chamber radius (RWT). To determine the clinical value of such estimates, we examined echocardiography RWT in an unscreened series of 81 individuals with aortic valve disease, hypertension, or normal hearts. Despite the presence, in many subjects, of symptoms of congestive heart failure, reduced ejection fraction, or coronary disease, end-diastolic RWT (RWTD) correlated well with peak LVSP (r = 0.77); 45 of 55 patients with LVSP greater than or equal to 140 mm Hg had RWTD greater than or equal to 0.45, while 26 of 26 with LVSP less than 140 mm Hg had lower values (p less than 0.005). RWTD was greater than or equal to 0.50 in 30 of 34 patients with LVSP greater than or equal to 180 mm Hg and in 6 of 21 with LVSP 140 to 180 mm Hg. RWTD correctly estimated LVSP range in 26 of 27 severe aortic stenosis (AS) patients and, combined with echocardiographic aortic valve calcification, correctly recognized the presence or absence of severe AS in 99% of the series. The RWTD for any given LVSP was higher in patients on antihypertensive treatment and lower in patients with severe aortic regurgitation. In contrast to series based on patients with normal LV function, end-systolic RWT correlated poorly with LVSP.

Back to E-chocardiography Home Page.

The contents and links on this page were last verified on March 16, 2006.