Prevalence and clinical correlates of aortic dilation in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy


Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center


BACKGROUND: Aortic dilation has been associated with various cardiac conditions, although its prevalence and clinical correlates in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) remain unclear.

OBJECTIVES: The purposes of this study were to define the prevalence of ascending aortic dilation in a large referral population of patients with HCM and to determine clinical and echocardiographic correlates of aortic dilation.

METHODS: A total of 1,698 patients with HCM underwent echocardiographic measurement of the tubular ascending aorta (proximal and midlevel) during index evaluation at a tertiary HCM referral center. End-diastolic ascending aorta dimension was indexed to body surface area, with dilation defined for the tubular ascending aorta as 2 SD above the mean (>19 mm/m2) and independently as greater than published age-, sex-, and body surface area- adjusted norms (for the sinus of Valsalva and midlevel). Aortic size and presence of aortic enlargement were correlated with clinical and echocardiographic parameters.

RESULTS: Tubular ascending aortic dilation >19 mm/m2 was present in 303 patients with HCM (18%), and dilation above adjusted norms was present in 210 patients with HCM (13%). The median indexed tubular ascending thoracic aortic dimension was 16.5 (interquartile range, 14.8-18.2) mm/m2. Indexed dimension increased linearly with age (R = 0.53, P < .0001). Women and patients with a history of systemic hypertension were more likely to have tubular aortic enlargement >19 mm/m2 (29.8% vs 9.9% and 24.1% vs 10.5%, respectively, P < .0001 for both). Patients with obstructive physiology were more likely to have tubular aortic enlargement >19 mm/m2 than those without resting or provocable obstruction (19.6% vs 14.4%, P = .007). Using adjusted norms, aortic enlargement was more frequent at the midlevel compared with the sinus of Valsalva (71% vs 29%), more common in patients with hypertension (15.4% vs 10.6%, P = .009), and more common in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (16.3% vs 11.5%, P = .036), but no other relationships remained statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: In this large cohort of patients with HCM, aortic dilation was common. The key correlate of tubular aortic enlargement >19 mm/m2, and aortic enlargement greater than adjusted norms included a history of systemic hypertension. Given an increased prevalence of aortic dilation in HCM, further study is needed on the clinical impact of aortic dilation.

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