Bicuspid aortic valve and aortopathy: novel prognostic predictors for the identification of high-risk patients


Aurora Cardiovascular and Thoracic Services, Aurora Sinai/Aurora St. Luke's Medical Centers


AIMS: Bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) may be complicated by aortic aneurysms and dissection. This study aimed to evaluate the prognostic efficacy of markers from cardiac imaging, as well as genetic and new biomarkers, to early predict aortic complications.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We re-evaluated after a mean time of 48 ± 11 months 47 BAV patients who had undergone previous echocardiography for evaluation of aortic stiffness and 2D aortic longitudinal strain (LS) (by speckle-tracking analysis), and who had given a blood sample for the assessment of a single-nucleotide polymorphism of elastin gene (ELN rs2 071307) and quantification of elastin soluble fragments (ESF). Surgical treatment of aortic aneurysm/dissection was the primary endpoint, and an aortic dimension increase (of one or more aortic segments) ≥1 mm/year was the secondary endpoint. Nine patients underwent surgical treatment of ascending aorta (AA) aneurysms. Out of the 38 patients who did not need surgical intervention, 16 showed an increase of aortic root and/or AA dimension ≥1 mm/year. At multivariate Cox regression analysis, an impaired AA LS was an independent predictor of aortic surgery [P = 0.04; hazard ratio (HR) 0.961; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.924-0.984] and aortic dilatation (P = 0.007; HR 0.960; 95% CI 0.932-0.989). An increased quantity of ESF was correlated (P = 0.015) with the primary endpoint at univariate Cox regression analysis but it did not keep statistical significance at multivariate analysis.

CONCLUSION: In BAV patients, impairment of elastic properties of the AA, as assessed by 2D LS, is an effective predictor of aortic complications.

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